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For UC Undergrads, It’s The ‘Blind Leading The Blind’ As Strike Lingers On

Two women sit in two separate hammocks next to each other on a grassy knoll at UCLA.
The UC teaching assistants strike has affected UCLA students Gabrielle Setiabudi (left) and Sasha Vagramov. Both have had discussion sections cancelled because the TAs who lead them have walked off the job.
(Adolfo Guzman-Lopez
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For many college students, finals season is usually a stressful time full of late night study sessions, cramming for statistics and philosophy exams.

I surely don’t miss those days.

But this year, tens of thousands of students across University of California campuses have an added stressor: the academic workers strike.

UC Strike Cancels Student Finals

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Around 48,000 teaching assistants and other workers have been on strike for weeks, demanding better pay, protections and support and, as my colleague Adolfo Guzman Lopez reports, it's having a domino effect on undergraduate students. The UCs aren’t alone. This strike is among other academic labor strikes happening right now that will likely be stamped in the history books.

Many of these UC academic workers teach class and grade student work. Adolfo talked to UCLA undergrads about how the absence of their TAs is impacting them and their future. One student named Grace Bashawaty said she and her peers rely on teaching assistants during class discussions. Now they rely on each other. “We're all struggling, we're all in the same boat,” Bashawaty said. “But it's kind of like the blind leading the blind.”

Students also report that finals were either made easier or canceled because of the strike. But, still, Adolfo found the students he interviewed are in support of the strike even though their academics are taking a hit.

Read Adolfo’s story for more information.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • Los Angeles County is back in the COVID-19 “high” community level, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Positive COVID cases have been rising for weeks and, on average, it’s sending 210 people to the hospital daily.
  • Griffith Park's famous mountain lion P-22 will be captured and brought in for a health evaluation, wildlife officials said Thursday. There is concern about a change in behavior after he was blamed for killing a leashed pet.
  • A lawsuit announced Thursday claims L.A.’s no-vending zone restrictions violate a 20 state law (SB 946) that legalizes street vending statewide. Advocates want these restrictions to go away along with others that prevent street vendors from selling near flea markets and similar events. 
  • The percentage of recorded hate crimes connected to white supremacists has fallen in L.A., but experts say it’s a hard number to track. L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore says his department rarely encounters organized groups and that any such behavior with roots in white supremacy is usually carried out by individuals
  • ICYMI all new buildings going up in Los Angeles will have to be all electric starting in January. No more gas. The L.A. City Council approved the ordinance Wednesday. 
  • California got a little more rain than usual these past couple of months but we are still in a drought. We will need a lot of more snow and rain to fall for the state to hit its rainy season average in April. 
  • California’s Medi-Cal agency is partnering with other organizations to bring medical care to people experiencing homelessness. They’re known as street medicine teams.
  • Wordle. Mega Millions. Will Smith. These are just a few of the most popular Google searches overall this year in the United States. Here is the full list.
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

(more news headlines here)

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Wait... One More Thing! Let's Bundle Up And Go Enjoy The Weekend

Close up shot of an older blond woman smiling and holding a microphone
Dolly Parton at a press conference
(Brendon Thorne
Getty Images )

Even though it looks like it’s going to be rainy and chilly on Saturday and Sunday, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your weekend. Don’t let it rain on your parade…or your fun!

One of the events that caught my eye this weekend is the California African American Museum’s first festival of Black Comics, which is happening tomorrow on Dec. 10th. It will feature panels with Ryan Coogler, John Jennings, Cody Ziglar and other artists. Check out more information here.

Do I have any Dolly Parton and Disco fans out here in L.A.? If so, you should totally attend The Dolly Disco Western Disco Dance at The Regent Theater tonight at 9 p.m. Or maybe you’re into a quieter kind of disco party. If so, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts has an ugly sweater Silent Night Silent Disco party tonight as well. Check out more cool things to do this weekend here.

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