Spring 2020 - I took this during spring COVID quarter (online), so just keep that in mind. Peris seems like a really nice guy, and was super accomodating through all the craziness going on in the world. He lessened our workload, and the midterm was really fair considering all the content we went over. He made the final optional and eased the grading scale a bunch, too. His lectures were engaging and funny at times, and he even connected his lectures to some current events, which was interesting. I really enjoyed his approach to the class. PS he did get in trouble for saying the n-word while reading MLK's Birmingham letter during the George Floyd protests. He obviously shouldn't have done it, and it was hurtful people (esp BIPOC) even though he emphasized that he was saying it for historical context, and not to be malicious. His apology seemed genuine, and if it wasn't for that, I think he would really represent UCLA well as a full time prof.
Winter 2022 - Good Class. Grading is interesting in that it reminded me a bit of high school -- less emphasis on exams, more emphasis on various "assignments" spaced out throughout the quarter. One of the assignments is a "congressional simulation" in which people make speeches, propose bills, etc. in front of the entire class. In my opinion, some people took this way, way too seriously and it kind of ruined it for others (swearing, arguing, one-uping people by making actual social media profiles of themselves as "congressmen"). I'm assuming there are people who do this every quarter. Perris is a great lecturer. Slides are super clear, no BS, he has clearly put a lot of thought into the course. Final exam and midterm were exceptionally straightforward, online, and open note. In conclusion, this class is unlike normal Pol Sci courses in that your grade isn't based on just a midterm and final. Your grade in this class is based on a variety of quizzes, homework assignments (ie. short papers), your "simulation" participation, a small project, and 2 exams -- all of which are graded very fairly. If that sounds good to you, take this class. However, if you don't like the idea of constantly checking in/ participating in one course (ie. you prefer taking 2 tests and getting them over with), then it may be a good idea to avoid this.