They’re crosstown rivals and civic landmarks. One is public, one personal. One is surrounded by among the priciest actual property within the nation; the opposite’s neighborhood is decidedly extra working-class.

Over the previous couple of weeks, although, the College of Southern California and the College of California, Los Angeles, have had one factor in widespread: being publicly slammed for mishandling campus protests.

After anger over a canceled valedictory speech culminated in an rebellion at U.S.C. final week that led to 93 arrests on campus, the college’s president confronted criticism that she had called in the Los Angeles police too quickly. This week, U.C.L.A.’s chancellor is fielding accusations that the college’s name for police backup took too long.

U.C.L.A. had taken a comparatively tolerant approach to protests, adhering to a College of California-wide policy of avoiding calling in exterior regulation enforcement until “completely essential to guard the bodily security” of the general public campus. However on Tuesday, the college declared that an encampment of pro-Palestinian demonstrators at U.C.L.A. was an “illegal meeting.”

Some observers puzzled whether or not the shift had come due to escalating violence. Or possibly it was as a result of the chancellor, Gene Block, was summoned Tuesday to testify later this month in entrance of a Republican-led congressional committee that has grilled different college presidents on how their campuses have dealt with pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

That evening, as a pro-Palestinian group resisted orders to disperse, counterprotesters descended violently on their encampment. A number of college students have been injured earlier than the Los Angeles police — who didn’t have the first jurisdiction essential to reply with out an invite — have been lastly known as in.

The subsequent evening, the scenario was a lot totally different. Amid fees by metropolis officers that the college police had not solely been too sluggish to reply, but additionally ineffective, officers from three regulation enforcement companies have been known as to campus Wednesday. Early Thursday, they moved in. They arrested greater than 200 folks and dismantled the pro-Palestinian camp.

Now, as each universities decide up the items, the 2 episodes current dueling case research. For defenders of the 2 administrations, the takeaway is straightforward: Within the present political local weather, college presidents are in a no-win scenario.

For critics, the lesson is about foresight.

Why, they ask, did U.C.L.A. not see the peril in permitting pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protesters to show inside 20 ft of one another? Why have been floor guidelines not established prematurely at each colleges, with penalties for epithets, vandalism and trespassing in campus buildings? And why was extra not completed to cease “exterior agitators” from inciting violence?

Solely 51 of the 93 folks arrested at U.S.C. have been college students, and 36 weren’t affiliated with the college, Andrew Guzman, the provost, told the Academic Senate this week. Block, the U.C.L.A. chancellor, cited “instigators” as the reason for the melee on Tuesday; on social media, pro-Palestinian teams flagged a few of their attackers as previous individuals in right-wing demonstrations towards transgender rights and immigration.

“It’s outstanding to me how flat-footed the presidents have been at nearly each step,” William G. Tierney, a professor emeritus of upper training at U.S.C. who has written in regards to the nationwide administrative response to the campus protests, mentioned Thursday by e-mail. “We may have stood out as a discussion board to have passionate/civil dialog and as a substitute we’ve got mayhem. Yuck.”

Carol Folt, the president of U.S.C., instructed the college that she made the selections she did to forestall an explosion of violence just like the one on the U.C.L.A. campus. Nonetheless, if she had it to do over, she mentioned, she might need talked extra to college students, face-to-face, within the protest’s early phases. To this point, she mentioned, the college has not taken disciplinary motion towards college students who have been arrested. Solely school members and college students are actually being admitted to campus. A scaled down graduation is scheduled for Might 10.

U.C.L.A.’s chancellor has promised to research the college’s response, urged college students to keep away from the positioning of the protest and pivoted to distant instruction no less than by way of the following few days. Lessons aren’t scheduled to finish for one more month.

And because the educational calendar winds down, Los Angeles’s greatest establishments of upper training are confronting strikingly comparable landscapes: mass arrests, widespread frustration and a pall over the top of the college yr.

Led by a former Trump administration envoy to fight antisemitism, the pro-Israel group that clashed violently at U.C.L.A. this week with pro-Palestinian demonstrators has promised more counterprotests.

Jacqueline Norvell, also called the Brown Bag Girl, has handed out meals and provides to homeless folks on Skid Row in Los Angeles since 2014, Upworthy reported in 2022. Norvell and her crew do that each Sunday, together with throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, when Norvell and her crew went out in hazmat fits.

Her nonprofit group, Brown Bag Girl, has helped to feed greater than 75,000 folks. Every brown bag the group distributes additionally contains an inspirational citation, to keep up a private contact.

Norvell’s aspiration is to personal a constructing with a industrial kitchen to arrange weekly meals.


Thanks for studying. We’ll be again tomorrow.

P.S. Right here’s today’s Mini Crossword.

Halina Bennet and Briana Scalia contributed to California At present. You possibly can attain the crew at CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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