Anyone who’s seen “Hakop Kaplanyan – Innocence 2013,” the YouTube video vouching for the innocence of Hakop Kaplanyan, the UCLA freshman and former Clark student accused of rape, knows the argument his friends made in his defense.
Except, wait, there is no argument. It’s the standard response: “I know him. He’d never do this.” Unfortunately, many have bought into this, constantly retweeting the hashtag #SupportHakopKaplanyan and video over the past few weeks.
As of press time, no charges have been filed against Kaplanyan.
However, the police cannot simply arrest a student without some evidence against him, and the people mindlessly retweeting the tag should take that into account.
The only people who truly know what exactly happened are Kaplanyan and the girl he was with.
Whether they had been dating for weeks or months or whether they simply went out one night, Kaplanyan was not entitled to sex in any way. His lawyer is arguing that the sex was consensual. If Kaplanyan thinks he’s innocent because they were dating, he does not know the law.
Often, a sense of entitlement allows people to feel that sex is supposed to come along with dating, and if a man takes a woman out on a date and spends money on her, he is entitled to a reward afterwards. In this case, if a man were to force himself onto a woman, he’d be guilty of date rape.
In the video, Kaplanyan’s friends claim he’s innocent. They also somehow find it important to speak of Kaplanyan’s water polo achievements. Apparently, because someone has had several victories in a sport, people should consider them less likely to have raped someone.
Not only are their claims irrelevant and unsupported, but Kaplanyan’s friends are severely disrespecting the girl who was allegedly raped. Look at some of the tweets that followed yesterday’s hearing: “#SupportHakopKaplanyan trended and it worked congrats dude!” and “Oh thank god, he is innocent! The girl needs to get shanked.”
Kaplanyan may be not guilty but his friends are guilty of smearing the reputation of the accuser.
Last week, barely four months after the horrors of Sandy Hook Elementary, took place another atrocity.
Except this time, it wasn’t perpetrated by a deranged 20-year-old, but 45 senators who killed a bill (six votes shy of the needed 60) that would have expanded background checks on gun buyers.
Pressed against the backs of these trembling senators was the barrel of the National Rifle Association’s scary machine gun named “candidate rating.” Never mind that the bill was proposed by initially pro-gun senators Joe Manchin and Patrick Toomey, who willingly sacrificed the “A” ratings they earned from the NRA to place gun violence prevention as a priority.
The other senators decided that personal political well-being preceded the public safety of our nation and yielded their spine to the NRA—the lobbyist group whose vice president’s wise solution, in response to the 20 firstgraders lifeless in their classrooms, was handing out guns to teachers.
The Manchin-Toomey bill rejected last week would have required background checks for buyers at gun shows, on the Internet and other commercially advertised sales. It was a relatively moderate tackle at the shocking 40 percent of purchases made without checks, but moderate or not, the senators would have shot down the bill all the same.
The statistics indicating that 30,000 people nationwide die by guns every year, the studies showing that states with the most gun control laws have a 42 percent lower death rate than the states with the least number of gun control laws—none of these facts mattered to the senators.
It seems that not even the shock of Sandy Hook Elementary was enough to trigger the senators to take the long-overdue forward strides in the prevention of gun violence.
Despite that the Newtown tragedy is an extreme case of gun violence, and though perhaps stricter background checks may not have stopped one Adam Lanza from stealing his gun collector mother’s semi-automatic rifle, the Newtown massacre should have been the ultimate push to break away from the NRA and make the change.
Instead, by rejecting the bill, the 45 senators brushed off the massacre as a mere freak accident.
The children of Sandy Hook Elementary died twice.
By Young Cho
Starting with this year’s graduating class, students who are literate in more than one language will be able to earn state recognition of bilingual competency.
Students may earn state recognition by qualifying for the district bilingual competency award along with passing a SAT II foreign language exam with a score of at least 600. The remaining days to take the SAT II foreign language tests are May 4 and June 1.
In past years, the school district has recognized bilingual graduates and awarded these students the district bilingual competency award, which includes a seal on their diplomas, a certificate, and a medallion.
Students are deemed bilingual by the school district when they take four years of one language, score at least a three on an Advanced Placement language test, pass an approved language test from a foreign government, or pass one of GUSD’s foreign language exams. This process will remain the same and now serves as part of the qualifier for the state award.
The foreign language exams that GUSD offers are Armenian, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Tagalog. The exams include reading, writing, oral, and cultural tests, and are usually held in February and March. Application forms can be picked up in the Categorical Office several weeks before the exams.
Unlike GUSD, the state does not currently offer specific language competency tests that qualify students for the award, so students must rely only on the SAT II to earn the award.
Last year, 407 students were awarded the district award, and, according to the Glendale News-Press, even more are expected to earn the award this year.
“This [state] award doesn’t actually translate to much in terms of universities,” senior counselor Rose Samore said. “It might be helpful for future employers, but that’s it.”
By Mihran Hvhanessyan
In a partnership with Lexus of Glendale, band and choir students took part in a mock job application on Tuesday to learn about finding and interviewing for professional work in the real world.
Band director Martin Rhees, who set up the event, thought it was a perfect way for his students to learn how to enter and participate in the real world should a career in music not work out.
“I want my kids to have a background where they can do so well in an interview that a human resources person can see what I see in them,” Rhees said.
Lexus of Glendale, a regular donor to the school district, volunteered to sponsor the job application process where each band member applied for the same generic position at the dealership. The position was that of a Lexus Delivery Specialist, responsible for delivering cars to customers and explaining their technologies and workings.
Students were given a few weeks to fill out the forms without any outside help from parents or others. Lexus employees then reviewed the applications and selected a few which stood out.
Those students were then interviewed by a panel of four managers, including Vice President Johnny Harrison, in front of their peers on the auditorium stage. Though the interviews were simply simulations with no actual position for hire, they were conducted as any real job interview.
The Lexus representatives discussed their evaluations of the students’ applications and interviews, teaching them what employers look for.
“If [the program] at least makes [students] aware of what’s necessary in the working world, then I’ve done my job,” Harrison said.
Among the applications selected for interviewing were Lillian Kong (’13), Sarah Hill (’13), Candace Wong (’14), and Paulo Munoz (’13).
“After the interview they actually told me what I needed to work on,” said Kong. “It really gets you ready for the future.”