Yet another application? Please, try to contain your excitement.
Trust me, I know these suck. I was once in your shoes, perusing the UCLA Student Media application page wondering if I even had a shot at any of the available positions. I jumped ship on my Opinion application two questions in and resorted to watching YouTube videos until I got an email from the Opinion editor a few days later asking if I wanted to submit an application.
So when I say I feel your pain as you self-consciously try to convince someone you've never seen before of how great a writer you are, existentially ponder why you're doing this to yourself, half-heartedly submit what you have because the deadline is 19 seconds away, and proceed to binge watch something on Netflix to bury your dejection, I really mean it.
But fear not. I've tried to make this application as painless as possible. We honestly don't care about how great your English grades are, how expansive your vocabulary is, or even if English was your first language. You don't need to have written for a newspaper, have published a piece of work, or even have read a newspaper.
We're really only looking for two things: can you point out and propose solutions to the problems you see around you, and do you have the guts to stand by your words? That's it. It's really that straightforward. If you have those two qualities, the writing and mellifluous diction will follow suit. So don't fret — plug away at the questions below, and good luck! I look forward to meeting you in the fall.
And if you need some irrelevant YouTube videos to get the creative juices going, I've found "Epic Rap Battles of History" quite entertaining.
Keshav Tadimeti, Opinion Editor
Answer the following questions. Be as thorough but concise as possible.
Which issues do you consider important – and how can you connect them with life at UCLA?
In your view, how does opinion writing differ from other forms of news writing? Are there any benefits or detriments because of these differences?
What else do you plan to be involved in this year, on or off campus?
Answer the following prompts as best you can. This is a chance for us to see your argumentative skills, so have fun with this!
Pick any topic of your choice pertaining to UCLA, the University of California, or California as a whole, and make an argument about that point. Present facts and evidence to back up your argument.
Maximum 550 words
Select three possible opinion topics. How would you approach an argument for each?
Write an argument either vouching for UCLA to build a water slide that takes students from the top of the Residential Hill to Powell Library, or asserting that UCLA Chancellor Gene Block should get a $250,000 pay raise.
Write a scathing critique of a beloved superhero, or a glowing endorsement of a reviled supervillain.
We need reliable columnists. But hey, you wouldn't have made it this far down the application if you weren't ready to make a commitment to write for one of the best college newspapers in the country.
Opinion columnists are generally expected to write a column every 2 weeks. These include conducting interviews to gather information and undergoing edits with your editors for at least 4 hours per column. Can you meet these requirements?
There will be three Saturday training sessions in the fall. The dates are currently TBD, but they are mandatory for all accepted columnists. Can you set aside your weekends for these trainings?
We will email you at your provided address should we decide to call you in for an in-person interview.
Choose the answer that best describes you.