WESTWOOD : UCLA Drops Charges Against Student Protesters

UCLA on Thursday dropped criminal misdemeanor charges against one student and agreed not to prosecute six others in connection with $27,000 worth of damage done to the Faculty Center during a protest last year over the school's Chicano studies program.

The school agreed to stop plans for prosecution after Los Angeles Chicano artist Gronk donated a painting--entitled "The Mug" and worth between $15,000 and $18,000--as partial reparation for the damage. A second gift from Chicana artist Elo, valued at $7,000, was also accepted by UCLA.

The students were among 99 arrested last May after activists stormed the Faculty Center to protest Chancellor Charles E. Young's announcement that UCLA would not create a separate Chicano studies department. The protests and a hunger strike led to a compromise--the Cesar Chavez Chicano Studies Center--which has an interim director but no permanent faculty to date.

Gronk's gift, which is part of his "Hotel Senator" series, now hangs in the Faculty Center.

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