Bring back Mollie Vehling, UCLA Spirit Squad Director

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As a lifelong Bruin, a ’92 graduate, and a proud Alumni, I am deeply troubled by the recent firing of Spirit Squad director Mollie Vehling.

Mollie has been the most amazing contributor, supporter, and creator at UCLA during her 24 years on campus. Everyone knows Mollie. Everyone loves Mollie.

My 10-year old thinks the WORLD of Mollie. And she hopes Mollie is still there to help guide her when she attends UCLA someday.

Behind Mollie’s welcoming smile, and pleasant demeanor is a whole side of her most don’t get to see. She is ultra-professional, EXTREMELY well organized, capable of multi-tasking at many levels. She gives and gives and gives. She is ALWAYS working for the betterment of the Spirit Squad, of UCLA, and of the Alumni. She demands that anybody on her team who is publicly representing UCLA do so with the highest standards of quality, entertainment, athleticism, and respect for the uniform. The members of her team are “young adults” and may sometimes not be PERFECT, but Mollie is always there to provide positive and constructive correction.

As if maintaining multiple squads of varying skills (Dance, cheer, yell, mascot, etc.) and multiple simultaneous events, she created the UCLA Junior Spirit Squad – 250 little kids who are always excited to join in the fun.

And she does it all with a smile.

She was removed from the “active scene” late last year, I have seen firsthand the drop in quality of Spirit Squad presentations. The annual Spirit Squad Reception severely lacked Mollie’s professional touches at every angle. The “end-of-season awards presentation” for the Jr. Spirit Squad was an amateur mess. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Our individual Squad Members are FANTASTIC. But it is clear that without Mollie’s leadership, the team as a whole will lack the quality, the precision, the planning, the flexibility, and the professionalism that Mollie brings to the table.

Mollie has always wanted to entertain ALL of the fans. This is far different from Alumni Association’s focus on entertaining the “Big donors” and ALWAYS raising money. The Spirit Squad is rarely found in the pre-game tailgate area at the Rose Bowl, and barely performs with our Alumni Band anymore, because they are at the donor’s tent.

This has put Mollie at odds with the “leadership” of the Alumni Association. They would look for any small incident where they could make Mollie “the fall guy”…and last year they got their wish.

All who know Mollie from 20 years ago to now, KNOW she would do NOTHING so drastic as to require her termination.

The Alumni Association for too long has acted inside a secrecy bubble, and very often NOT acted in the best interest of the average population. What they have wrong is that this is not THEIR’s to run. The UCLA Alumni Association BELONGS to the UCLA Alumni. It is OURS. They work for US.

Based on the above, I demand the immediate reinstatement of Mollie Vehling.

My future membership in the Alumni Association, along with my continuing contributions to the Wooden Athletic Fund are on the line.

It’s time for the UCLA Alumni Association and the UCLA Athletic Department to do the right thing.

Bring back Mollie Vehling.