Guy With Guitar in Zoom Lecture Definitely Knows His Mic is Still On

Written by: Adian Valdez

Velasquez credits professor Schmitty’s voice for having the perfect low volume to shred over.
Photo by Jack Yang

In the era of online education, it’s not uncommon for someone to forget to mute or unmute their microphone during a lecture. However, some take it as an opportunity to advertise their musical talent. Such is the case for UCSD third-year Adrian Velasquez, who recently admitted that he was well aware that he was unmuted while playing guitar during his MATH 20D lectures.

Velasquez is currently in the throes of an academic misconduct investigation launched by an anonymous plaintiff who claims he frequently disrupts class by playing guitar. The case, filed in spring quarter, has blown into a heated cross-departmental battle that has captured the attention of the UCSD populus.

The prosecution argues that Velasquez’s actions are tantamount to “zoom- bombing,” and that he should be put on academic suspension. “The act of emitting non-educational material within an academic environment will not be tolerated,” said prosecutor Marvin Lamehass. “The classrooms should be a place of learning and only learning. We must remove any and all distractions, including but not limited to cell phones, non-school-approved technology, unrelated books, dyed hair, piercings, and clothes not sold at the UCSD affiliated stores.”

“I’m definitely not zoom-bombing,” said Velasquez in a statement. “Zoom-bombing would be if I was blasting shitty hip/hop or harassing women in the chat. I’m only plugging my Spotify in chat 3 times per class. What I am doing is using the public space to showcase my new album since I can’t do any open-mics because of UCSD social distancing regulations. Call it zoom-busking, if you will.

The case has polarized many within the UCSD faculty. The Music department put out a statement in support of Velasquez, saying that he is “a true patron of the arts helping to spread awareness that our department actually exists.” The Cognitive Sciences department echoed this sentiment, saying, “music has been proven to increase memory recall and stimulate mood, and in online lectures students need all the help they can get.” Agreeing with the prosecution is the Chemistry and Physics departments. CHEM 40C professor Natalie Baunheim said in an interview that “People like Velasquez are why I don’t have lectures. Wanna learn some chemistry? Watch my podcasts from last year. I’m gonna sit back, relax, and not have to look at all of those snot-nosed, gen-Z kids expecting a legitimate, applicable education.”

“I actually support Adrian here,” said Velasquez’s MATH 20D professor Tom Schmitty. “I remember back in my college days trying to get a foothold in the music business. Me and my band would bust into a classroom and perform on the spot. You ever see a mosh pit form in Warren Lecture Hall? We did that. Besides, barely any of these kids know what rock n’ roll is anymore. I can teach partial derivatives all day, but this kid is teaching us about our culture, our history. Now my class is throwing down to Black Sabbath instead of bumping Lil’ Peep. I, for one, think that’s a more important lesson. I’ve arranged for him to play some math rock to replace my next couple lectures.”

The academic misconduct case is set to continue into Fall Quarter, as a recess was declared to allow the Academic Integrity board to listen to Velasquez play a set. Cliff Barnumsky, the chair of the board, said that this was to “evaluate his skill and determine whether he is playing the good stuff or that indie pop garbage. This will allow us to effectively judge whether Velasquez is a distraction or a benefit to our academic curriculum.”

Copy Editor at The MQ

Here lies the bio of a guitar jammin, halo playin, copy editin, ISTJ personality typin member of the MQ. Adian Valdez is not only the lead copy editor of the MQ, he is a deeply committed member of Triton Halo, Muir Musical and his fraternity of which I do not know the name. The MQ urges you to listen to this king’s music on iTunes or Spotify and maybe he will AP style the hell out of your papers.

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