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Thursday, December 30, 2004
In the Holiday Bowl down in San Diego, #4 Cal looked like easily to be the favorite going in. #23 Texas Tech, though, didn't let that stop them and they won decisively 45-31. The #5 Texas Longhorns, who leapfrogged over Cal in the BCS standings for a Rose Bowl bid, defeated Texas Tech 51-21 earlier in the year spurring "Texas Tech fans [to mock] Cal with chants of "Overrated!" in the closing minutes." One ESPN analyst pointed out a while ago that if Cal had a weakness it was pass defense, and the Red Raiders certainly took advantage of that, having "no answer against... their efficient spread offense, which uses four wide receivers most of the time."
Unfortunately, this looks bad in front of a national stage, as now all the talk of Cal being unfairly being snubbed by the BCS will now dissipate. Not to say we didn't deserve it, but it's hard to justify after this loss.
ESPN RecapEmail This Post!
Monday, December 27, 2004
Berkeley Iceland Faces Closure
Ancient Cooling System Leaking Ammonia
Berkeley city officials are threatening to close down Berkeley Iceland for what they perceive to be the potential of a dangerous leak of ammonia gas from the rink's cooling system. There have apparently been two small leaks in the area previously ('98 and '03), and city officials are worried about the surrounding communities if controls over the gas were to ever fail. The managers of the ice rink dispute the findings of the city officials, and they plan to hold their own inspections and tests to challenge the city.
Berkeley Iceland, which was constructed back in 1940, has been the host to many sporting events from UC Berkeley hockey games to national figure skating competitions to Greek broomball matches. Email This Post!
Pre-Holiday Bowl Drama
The SF Chronicle is reporting that third-string tailback Marcus O'Keith has been sent back to Berkeley after violations of team rules in San Diego. O'Keith did not see too much time between Arrington and Lynch but had some important roles on some of the special teams squads. Hopefully this will be the only bad news for the Golden Bears before Thursday's game.Email This Post!
Saturday, December 25, 2004
So You Want Politically Correct?
Happy ______________ everyone!Email This Post!
Associated Press on Ever Escalating "Fees"
"In 1960, California leaders pledged a tuition-free ride for state high school graduates with the smarts and gumption to pursue a degree at a public college or university."
I think it's clear to everyone that whatever promises were made in 1960 are no longer operable. I guess the Indians weren't the only ones screwed over by government promises that weren't kept.
That above quotation is from an article on rising student fees, "Some California college students struggling to pay higher fees". Here are the key details and trends from the article:
1) At UC, fees have increased about 60 percent over the past decade. They rose from about $5,200 (including miscellaneous campus fees) in 2002-03, to the present total of about $6,700 for a student with a full-time class load. UC officials said that is about $1,100 less than projected averages for comparable prominent public institutions in other states.There is going to be an increased strain on our schools (UC's and CSU's) as they are forced to deal with a surging college aged population. Meanwhile, the possibility of a bailout from the state seems a longshot. This budget situation, along with other trends, seems to be creating a trade-off between creating one of these two schools:
a) A strongly publicly supported and affordable University comprised of predominantly California residents with a diversity of experience (socioeconomic and ethnic) that reflects the California populace.
b) An increasingly expensive schooling experience that seeks the best possible candidates from other states or abroad who fork up more of their own money and a trend away from reflecting the diversity of California within the students.
These options are two broad trends, and there are a lot of other more specific factors that would fit into either scenario. This article, and previous CalStuff posts on affirmative action or foreign students, reflects the tough choices we are faced with. I think there is generally a tendency by people to see option b as not only an easier and more likely outcome, but also a better outcome, and I think these views are misguided.
The UC's and CSU's are designed to educate primarily California residents and they should continue to do so. Establishing a highly educated workforce is key to maintaining a booming California economy (as the article above mentions) and this should be accomplished by favoring California residents.
Furthermore, calls to admit more foreign or out of state students is usually justified because it can allow Berkeley (and other schools) to become more selective in who they accept. Our goal should not be to maintain ourselves as a world class University by casting a broader net, but to maintain our ranking with students representative of California, and I think Berkeley's consistently high scores in a variety of surveys shows that this is possible. We would be doing the mission of the UC system a disservice if we ignored the principles it was founded on, and increased fees work to undermine that vision.Email This Post!
Friday, December 24, 2004
So Much For The Jewish Neo-Cons
It didn't take too long for the Cal Patriot Blog to start tastelessly stepping on toes. The most recent post had a nice little anti-semitic spin, perfect for promoting intelligent discussion on... eh, nothing.
No matter how much we try to coddle the Saudis and befriend them, they still manage to have the time to stab us in the back, all because of those damn Jews controlling our government.
So incredibly brilliant, subtle in its points, just genius work all around. Guess we we shouldn't plan on seeing as much BCR/JSU-IAC cooperation.Email This Post!
Cal Basketball Wins Golden Bear Classic
Golden Bears Take Out Waves, 61-58
As anxious as I'm sure everyone is about the Holiday Bowl, let's not forget that there are other sports on our illustrious campus.
Cal Men's Basketball, which has been without injured star Leon Powe, entered the GBC with a 6-3 record. However, the team managed to triumph over Pepperdine in the final round of the championship with a last-ditch three point shot made by junior Richard Midgley. This is the eighth time in twelve years that Cal has won its own tournament.
Go Bears!Email This Post!
Official Report: McCann Died of Methadone OD
While this has been speculated on for some time, it was officially reported that 22-year old Patrick McCann, who passed away earlier this year, fell victim to acute methadone toxicity. With an official cause of death, it will be interesting if this has any ripple effects in the Greek community, who can no longer claim to be free of recent drug related deaths. Likewise, with an official cause of death, it will be interesting to see if there are any official ramifications for Pi Kappa Alpha. A national fraternity usually does not look highly upon its members ODing.
The trial for McCann's roommates, who have been brought up on drug and gun possession charges, will probably continue for long into the next year.Email This Post!
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Professors from UC Berkeley have been coming out with a few of books that sound like fairly interesting reading over the holiday break.
The SF Chronicle recently reviewed a book by John Searle called Mind: A Brief Introduction (links cribbed from the UC Berkeley Livejournal community), a book about various philosophies on the mind such as dualism and behaviorism.
A lot of talk has centered around Cognitive Science Prof. George Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for Progressives. In the book, Lakoff discusses the language that conservatives have been using has framed arguments in their favor and has allowed them to win. A story on the book and its ideas was in the Sacramento Bee.Email This Post!
Le Chateau Case Getting Coverage Nationwide
The Chicago Tribune has run an article on the Le Chateau lawsuit. It's very much weighted against the co-opers, but I think some of the comments are kind of funny. My favorite section of the article:
Sobbed? Noisy neighbors are making these people cry? I'd hate to see these people when they're filing their taxes.
Neighbor Michelle Pellegrin, who rents rooms in her house to student boarders, said she was horrified to look into a Chateau window and see someone intravenously administering drugs about the time a heroin bust had occurred there.
I an just see this woman staring into rooms with binoculars, trying to find dirt. If she was that concerned about the drug use, she should have called the cops.
Plaintiff John Caner, president of the Willard Neighborhood Association, talked about looking inside Le Chateau: "In my opinion, it looks like one of the worst New York subway stations."
Oh come on now.
In any event, I think that the testimony portion of the case has been wrapped up, and there will be a ruling within the next four weeks.Email This Post!
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
It's Book Swap vs. Book Swap Now (The Plot Thickens)
So I menioned previously how there is a bookswap website run by the Computer Science and Business Association. And since they seem to have zero publicity efforts behind it and since Ned's and the ASUC bookstore still appear to be ripping off students in prodigious numbers, I suggested that the ASUC do a better job of informing students of said website.
Since posting that, I've learned that the ASUC does in fact have their own bookswap website (you'll need a password to log in, but there isn't much to see). It's housed at one.berkeley.edu, and it's got an almost unusable and functionally deficient user interface (no offense or anything). Plus, there don't appear to be many books listed on it and no attempts by the ASUC to publicize it that I'm aware of.
So the ASUC could put their hefty might behind publicizing their bookswap website (which would make for a nice change of pace from their usual tendency to put their hefty might behind something of minimal to no use for students). But the problem is the ASUC bookswap site sucks, while the CSBA bookswap is great, but they just don't have the heft that the ASUC does to get the word out.
Therefore, I think the ASUC should throw in the towel, and either get the CSBA to host their bookswap on One as some sort of partnership deal or else just settle for promoting something that the ASUC didn't actually create. Either way, I don't have much faith that the ASUC will redesign their bookswap site (and why should they when a perfectly good one already exists!).
I want to see flyers up in the spring advertising comegetused. This is a good start, keep up the good work..
[And yes, I realize that money spent at the ASUC bookstore finds its way back to students. But it only does so after they have made enough money to pay for workers and rent and eletricity and all that other stuff. If the ASUC needs more money they shouldn't get it by allowing the ASUC bookstore to fleece us. The honorable thing to do would be to allow students to exchange books and save money and just raise the student fees that we give the ASUC. Plus that would cost the students less overall as there wouldn't be all those overhead costs involved.]
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*** BREAKING - AP Pulls Out of BCS System ***
Both ESPN and Fox Sports are reporting today that the Associated Press has informed the BCS that it will not be part of the system in 2005. The AP Poll has been the center of a lot of controversy in the last couple of years, voting USC #1 in 2003 and not only having Cal at #4 in 2004 but also having Texas at #6. An article in yesterday's San Jose Mercury News recaps the nation-wide reaction to this year's problems with the BCS.
Pundits on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption say that this is the first step towards an official playoff system for Division I football. Currently, many of the lower divisions already have a playoff system in place.
Update: ESPN'S Ivan Maisel has written regarding the situation and why it spells the end for the BCS as we know it. The initially proposed replacement seems to be a lot closer to the March Madness setup than the current system.
Also, ABCNews has posted parts of the official AP letter to the BCS Commissioner. Apparently AP has sent a cease-and-decist letter, implying that the BCS has been using the AP Poll "without permission". An interesting quote:
"By stating that the AP poll is one of the three components used by BCS to establish its rankings, BCS conveys the impression that AP condones or otherwise participates in the BCS system," the letter said. "Furthermore, to the extent that the public does not fully understand the relationship between BCS and AP, any animosity toward BCS may get transferred to AP. And to the extent that the public has equated or comes to equate the AP poll with the BCS rankings, the independent reputation of the AP poll is lost."Email This Post!
Monday, December 20, 2004
Affirmative Action Debate Rages On
Goodwin Liu, an assistant professor at Boalt, has struck back in an editorial against anti-affirmative action comments made by a UCLA professor. Liu makes some interesting points regarding the possible ramifications of ending affirmative action at law schools.
From the article:
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Saturday, December 18, 2004
Narodick v. Leybovich and Lee Dropped By Plaintiff
Personal Agreement Met to Resolve Differences
It's so cool to be able to write about yourself in the third person - but also very obnoxious. So I'm going to stop and go back to the first person.
I dropped my lawsuit against our illustrious ASUC leaders after repeated meetings with President Leybovich and some conversations with other ASUC officials. He and I came to an agreement, and in exchange for my removal of the previously filed injunction:
- President Leybovich will help ensure that the bill that I had written on regulating the commercial revenue fund gets passed by the Senate.
- Only the necessary office equipment as decided upon (computers, printers, speakerphone) will be purchased until the bill is passed.
- Receipts for all purchases made during the Winter Break will be submitted to the first Financial Committee of the first semester.
Now, it can be stated that I have given up a significant amount of my leverage here. However, the original cover sheet only specifies the purchases of the computers to be made by the executives. Future charges can be made to the printer and speakerphone purchases if the revised controlling bill does not pass without risk of double jeopardy, etc. I still retain the option to follow through with the lawsuit if I need to.Email This Post!
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Researchers at Berkeley have begun testing a new robotic helicopter. What is so awesome about this 130 pound heliocopter is its autonomous nature, meaning it can fly and dodge obstacles all on its own. A variety of applications can come about from this research, like search and rescue bots that can look in areas too dangerous for people.
PhysOrg: Researchers developing low-altitude robo-copters
Press Release with PicturesEmail This Post!
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Looks like a Full Moon Tonight
A rather uncredible source tells me that there will be streaking in the Library at midnight tonight. I'm not going to be around, but if this actually happens, someone leave a comment.
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Get Your I Hate BCS T-shirts
13 dollars and change at Bancroft clothing.
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More on the MCC and twLF and Senate Recall
This post isn't about any particular breaking news. Instead, it's a new place to house comments, as the old thread is getting very long (118 comments the last time I checked) and pushed down the page. This is also a place for me to attempt to synthesize some of the comments into the key points of contention between the various sides, as well as allow commenters to let me know where I'm off, as a lot of you are more knowledgeable about this than I am.
1. The Third World Liberation Front (twLF) has no right to ownership over the MCC. Yes, the agreement for an MCC came about because of the struggle of the twLF, but it appears that the administration just said that they would create a MCC(last paragraph), not put the twLF in charge of it. At the very least, I hope this is what they did, as it makes a lot more sense, because:
2. The twLF is not accountable to students and cannot be said to truly "represent" anyone. Anyone can say that they represent someone. The TWLF doesn't represent anyone beyond those people who choose to identify with that group. The ASUC, at the very least, holds their power because of democratic elections. Anything the ASUC does, it can reasonably claim it does as a representative of the students. The MCC needs to be held accountable to student interests, and the twLF is not in a position to fulfill that role.
3. The recall looks increasingly likely to occur. CalSERVE Senators have seemed rather agitated lately (Dorie Perez and Lakshmi Sirdaran for instance) , and much of this anger seems to be based on the marganalization that minority groups feel they are suffering with the current ASUC Senate. twLF appears to be the leader of this (perceived) marganalization, and it appears they've reached a breaking point, and are now ready to go nuclear.
4. There seems to be no meaningful distinction between the twLF people and the CalSERVE people in this whole recall business. I've heard reports of CalSERVE Senators collecting signatures on the recall petition, and frankly, it would be crazy of them not to get on board an effort that could effectively wipe Student Action out of the Senate. Not that I think the recall will be successful, but it's worth a shot, and if played right, could allow for some useful mobilization of the CalSERVE base prior to the spring elections.
5. Why is the tw not capitalized but the LF is in twLF?
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The One Thing I Want From the ASUC: Promote Bookswap
I was recently reminded of my own little pet issue by the ongoing competition between the ASUC bookstore and Ned's. First Ned's delivered some coupons to the house with a promise of 5 dollars extra on top of whatever pittance they would give me for reselling my books. Then the ASUC bookstore announced some stupid Greek Challenge where you say what Greek House you belong to when you sell back your books and the winning house gets a prize. Last thing I heard Ned's was bringing in some trannie hookers from SF to provide hand jobs along with that extra 5 dollars.
The reason they keep doing little gimmicks like this is because they are ripping us off (see my previous rant on how students are getting screwed). And not only are they ripping us off, they know that us Berkeley students are smart enough to realize that we are being ripped off. So they have to keep trying to bribe us.
The Computer Science and Business Association has stepped up to the plate with comegetused.com, which provides an easy and effective way for Berkeley students to buy and sell used books. This doesn't even require any work by the ASUC; all they need to do is get the word out about comegetused (surely something of a priority for an ASUC President who campaigned on bookswaps, right?), because the more people who hear about it and use it the more effective it becomes. Consider this CalStuff doing our part to get the message out, and I would encourage others to help promote a service that prevent students from getting ripped off.
P.S. If any of you ASUC people who read CalStuff tell me that I should go work for the ASUC and "be the change I want to create" or something like that, I'm going to have to ask you to campaign on that slogan: "Student Action-If you want anything from the student government, go do it youself!"
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Bobby Gregg recently announced at an ASUC meeting that Justin Taylor had resigned from the Judicial Council. This leaves President Leybovich until the first ASUC meeting of next semester to submit a new list of nominees to the Senate. Hopefully, this won't turn into another appointment debacle, but after some of the more hostile political debates in the Senate as of late, we'll see how it goes next semester.
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Monday, December 13, 2004
Shot Fired Across the Bow at BCS by CA Republican
A while ago I speculated that "there is widespread anger over the BCS system, not only from Cal fans, and there will almost certainly be some reforms to the sytem."
Now, one of the first concrete responses has been proposed, in an article "Calif. lawmaker seeks end of Bowl Series" (I'm reprinting the whole thing because it's short and requires a subsciption in order to view it):
The Republican leader of the California Senate has introduced a resolution calling for the dissolution of the Bowl Championship Series.The article notes that this measure would not actually dissolve the BCS, and that Ackerman is not entirely serious, but still shows the anger that is lingering over the BCS system. Especially considering that this year's travesty for Berkeley is not a one time thing, with the ranking system having problems almost every year. We'll see if any more serious proposals are announced in the future.
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Continuing Site Maintenance
There have been further updates to the site template based on our own concerns and your suggestions. We welcome any further complaints/criticisms/praise on the the new look for CalStuff.Email This Post!
Cal Ingenuity Could Lead to Malaria Cure
The Associated Press has some very good news (both for Berkeley students and people in danger of getting malaria) in an article "Gates Funds Malaria Research Drug":
Working with a biotechnology company, the San Francisco-based Institute for OneWorld Health will try to turn the genetic engineering efforts of Jay Keasling of the University of California, Berkley into an inexpensive and effective drug to fight malaria in the third world. An announcement was expected Monday.Programs like this have both some potential benefits and problems.
1) Private companies often have a substantial R and D budget which they are more than happy to spend at Berkeley or other universities if there are scientists working in a field relating to their business. This helps finance cutting edge technology here at Berkeley and provides the funding to update our scientific infrastructure.
2) Close cooperation between private industry and UC Berkeley encourages these companies to locate themselves close to the Bay Area, which in turn is good for the CA economy, which can lead to an increase in revenue for the state (some of which is passed back to Berkeley).
3) Any partnership between Berkeley and a private company risks endangering the academic freedom of the University if concern over continued funding leads the administration to side with big business over our professors. For an example of where this line may have been crossed, the Berkeley Daily Planet had an article last week on the ongoing struggle of Ignacio Chapela, whose research angered big-time university partner Novartis. Chapela's tenure was denied, and deference to financial concerns by the University appears to be a plausible explanation for his rejection.
There is just one thing in the article that I disagree with:
"I hope that UC Berkeley's participation will serve as a model for other academic institutions to apply their scientific knowledge and resources to critical global health problems," said Dr. Regina Rabinovich, director of infectious diseases at the Gates Foundation.I, on the other hand, hope that this cooperative effort goes very well, but does not "serve as a model for other academic institutions". Let's keep all the money here in Berkeley.
*Update* It appears there is less money for Berkeley in this deal than I suspected. Whether or not this specific example is still applicable, there is still a large number of private/public partnerships to consider. A longer article on the subject has this information:
To ensure affordability, UC Berkeley has issued a royalty-free license to both OneWorld Health and Amyris, of Albany, Calif., to develop the technology for malaria treatments.It seems unclear, but possible that some of the money in the Gates grant could be funnelled to Berkeley to assist in the research:
A $43m grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the Institute for OneWorld Health, the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company in the United States, will create a powerful new approach to developing a more affordable, accessible cure for malaria, which kills more than a million children each year.Email This Post!
FratStuff Joins the Berkeley Blogosphere
Thanks to Beetle's efforts to discover new Berkeley blogs, I recently stumbled across "Frat" Life, a blog written by an anonymous member of a Berkeley fraternity. As a member of a fraternity myself, the topics his weblog will be discussing definitely sound interesting to me, and I would encourage non-Greek readers of CalStuff to stop by and check him out on issues such as these:
From being a self-confessed anti-Greek to one of the system's firmest proponents, I believe strongly in what it can be but isn't. I hope that with this modest blog I will be able to facilitate open, honest discussion about the problems that face our community, and perhaps even inspire people to address those problems.
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Sunday, December 12, 2004
Site Redesign on CalStuff
We have a new template up, complete with advertisements. We have viewed it both with Internet Explorer and Firefox, but if you are having any problems viewing the site let us know in comments (if you include details on what problems you are having and what browser you are using, that would be perfect).
Also, we have worked to update the sidebar, and we will continue to do so (Beetlebeat has been collecting new Berkeley blogs), but if anything is missing, let us know.
We have also purchased www.calstuff.com, so you can now reach us from that easy to remember domain.
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Jerry Brown Speaks, People Graduate
From the Alameda Times-Star:
'POMP and Circumstance" chimed up shortly after a Christmas carol about a sleigh ride during commencement activities Saturday for about 200 December graduates from the University of California, Berkeley. The students filed into Zellerbach Auditorium for the slightly off-season ceremony, held annually for students who finish their studies in the middle of the year rather than at the end. About 2,700 students will graduate this month, officials said, but most of them will likely opt to participate in the larger commencement in MayJerry Brown had some words of wisdom for the graduates.
Brown, whose degree is in Latin and Greek, left students with a Latin saying -- ad astra per aspera -- which he translated as meaning, "To the stars through the thorns."Consider it done, Jerry!
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Okay Now, Give Me A Break
Or, If It Smells Like a Shit, and They Call It A Recall...
In Wednesday's meeting, the ASUC Senate narrowly approved a proposed Memorandum of Understanding to allow the University to place a Multicultural Center in Heller Lounge. The debate played out like it was on a script - SA tries to bully its way to moderation, the URMs (this time, in the form of the virtually ancient Third World Liberation Front) got really uppity, CalSERVE senators got flustered, and the meeting lasted until 4:30 AM. No big shock, and a very unsurprising meeting...
... save for one exception. At the end of the night, protesters threatened 8 SA senators with a recall for their actions throughout the semester, claiming that upwards of 1300 signatures had already been collected for the petition. These signatures would be turned in at a January meeting.
First, the irony of this must first be established. How could these people, a majority of whom probably protested vehemontly against Governor Davis' recall, actually think that this was at all a clever idea? If it ever takes hold, recalling any senators would unleash a whole Pandora's Box of uncertainty and major problems striking at the heart of the ASUC and democracy in general.
That being said, there are still a lot of obstacles here that have to be overcome in order for the recall to get any momentum:
1) The petitions have to be turned in. It's quite possible that this is just a scare tactic to try to persuade SA senators to take URM projects more seriously. But if the recall effort is legitimate, there are still problems because
2) The portion of the ASUC Constitution concerning recall efforts has not been updated since the new election process was initiated. Prior to the old system, it was not a Australian (secret) ballot system, and each senator's constituency was maintained. The text:
B. Any Senator may be subject to recall by presentation to the Senate of a petition signed by at least one thousand (1,000) students represented by that Senator and containing a specific statement of the reasons for the proposed removal.
So, the language is vague, to say the least. This means...
3) The Judicial Council must assume an active role in this process and clarify/allow the recall to happen. And, it needs to be done in a reasonable period before the regularly-scheduled ASUC elctions next spring. After that,
4) The URMs need to follow through and get people to the polls. This wouldn't be too difficult, and if the process gets this far, then the 8 SA senators are as good as cooked. Now, for those of you curious as to who would be the next eight in line for the spots in the Senate, here's the list:
22. Betty Kim Duong - CalSERVE
23. Michael Tsia - CalSERVE
24. Amaury Gallais - Berkeley College Republicans
25. Gagandeep Singh Rajpal - CalSERVE
26. Jenna Petersen - BEARS-United
27. Katherine Ortiz - Save Our Senate Party
28. Yangho Charles Shin - Independent
29. Natasha Paracha - Student Action
30. Brandon Smith - CalSERVE
I'm guessing one of the major parties may be tempted to get involved to reclaim the seat lost by a certain removal earlier this month.Email This Post!
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Daily Cal Closes Up Shop for Winter Break
Via the Daily Cal Squirrel, in Friday's issue:
"This is the last day of publication for the The Daily Californian for the fall semester. Be sure to grab a paper when daily publication resumes Jan. 18, the first day of the Spring, 2005 semester."
The CalStuff Fungal Growth would like to announce that CalStuff will be continually updated all throughout break. With big to medium news coming out in the near future on the ASUC and Multicultural center/Greek Affairs/Holiday Bowl/much much more, be sure to check in during vacation to stay informed on what's going on.
[I figured as long as I was unilaterally picking a CalStuff mascot, I might as well go with a fungus. Considering the likely protestations of my compatriots in blogging, we will probably come up with a better CalStuff mascot in the future.]
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Times Education Supplement Ranks Berkeley #1 in Engineering
The Times Education Supplement, the same publication that ranked Berkeley #2 in the nation (see this post), has ranked the College of Engineering the #1 engineering program in the world. That beats out such schools as MIT and Cal Tech. Newscenter has a press release on the honor.
Meanwhile, our engineering majors were working on redesigns of the Bay Bridge for Engineering 36 and presented them today for the public. The Oakland Tribune had a preview of the event. If anyone has any pictures, feel free to comment and we'll post them.Email This Post!
DiFi Gives a Shout Out to the Bears on Senate Floor
In (non-ASUC) Senate news, CA Senator Dianne Feinstein sounded off about the BCS travesty. Here are a couple excerpts from the speech, which was delivered on December 8th:
Mr. President, I rise today to express my concerns about college football's Bowl Championship Series and the formula used to select teams to play in the major bowls at the end of the season.It's especially nice to hear that from a Stanford alum. I changed the link to direct it to the Berkeley LJ copy of the article, as the gov. website where her comments are posted can't seem to handle permalinks.Email This Post!
Cal Wide Receiver arrested for weapons charges
David Gray, a wide receiver for Cal who seen limited action due to injury, was arrested after a fight broke out in a night club in San Francisco. Police found him carrying a loaded gun on his person and in his car. Gray will also face charges for tampering with the id marks on the gun.
The SF Chronicle has an article on the arrest.Email This Post!
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Fromer ASUC Senator Annalyn Terre on the Loss of Her Senate Seat
[This was posted by Annalyn Terre as a response to a CalStuff post which discussed the loss of her senate seat based on her attendace. I have done minor editing for grammatical reasons, and those who wish to see the original comment can go here. Finally, comments have been a little rowdy lately, and there are some sensitive issues that surround Terre's tenure on the Senate, so I would ask you all to show respect. We will not hesitate to delete any comments which we deem unacceptable.]
I find it extremely fascinating when matters such as affirmative action or increasing admissions for students of color are ignored and issues regarding my status as Senator make headlines instead. A lot of assumptions have been made regarding my absences and my duties as senator. Not only do I find them irrelevant, but I find them offensive.
In response to my five absences, the first two were due to my father's sudden hospitalization that required my consent as to whether or not I should put him on life support. The third was due to my decision to leave a senate meeting at 4:00am for refusing to change my vote (in compliance with an opposing party) regarding Bobby Gregg's position. The fourth absence was due to a mandatory financial scholarship meeting to secure my tuition for the remainder of my years here in Berkeley (I am currently working two jobs to pay for school, rent, and bills for my family at home) and finally my last absence was due to a sexual assult that took place the night I was to attend a committee meeting.
Now that that is out of the way, I would like to address the issue of the Daily Cal (Tina) and Christine Lee. [The Tina referenced is, I believe, Tina Nguyen, who wrote this article "ASUC Senator Loses Seat for Poor Attendance"]
I cannot explain the amount of frustration, anger and insult I feel whenever my name is mentioned by these individuals. Not only do I feel betrayed, but I am ashamed to be affiliated with an organization that would use my name - MY LIFE - for the purposes of bettering their resume and their image on campus. But, I suppose that comes with the territory when dealing with elected officials. And I can honestly say that these two women - women of color- do not represent me or any other students that they "claim" to represent. All I can do now, is hope that whatever it is they hope to gain from this (by using my personal life) is worth it.
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Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Vote for J.J. Arrington for the Doak Walker Award
*Update*: Cedric Benson of Texas has already won the award.
While it's not the Heisman Trophy, J.J. Arrington can still be honored for his duties as Cal running back. An anonymous reader points out that ESPN.com allows readers to vote for the Doak Walker Award for best running back in the nation. He is up against Cedric Benson of Texas and Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma and as of this post currently trailing both by a wide margin. Let's try to reward Arrington for all the rushing yards he's put up and get him the award.Email This Post!
87 Year Old Woman has to fight neighbors to build a bedroom
*Update*-It was incorrectly stated that she lived at 1901 Hearst, when that was actually the meeting place for the Commission. Meanwhile, some of you may have wondered why I highlighted this issue. While many of us are not home or business owners in Berkeley, this landmarking issue has made it increasingly difficult to do much of any kind of development in Berkeley. That will make businesses less likely to set up in this town, making the town a whole lot less vibrant. Housing could also be affected by this as well, as less student housing could be made available. Many of these neighbors feared that she would actually rent out these rooms to students. I should have been more clear in stating that. My apologizes.
Boing Boing had a post about Marguerite Rossetto, an 87 year old woman living in Berkeley who had a conflict with her neighbors over adding a bedroom to the ground floor of her home. Two of her neighbors, apparently, complained about her plans petitioned the city to make the home a landmark citing the fact that the house was designed by William Wurster (dean of architecture at Berkeley from 1950-1963), thereby not allowing her to create the room. During her hearing with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the house was given landmark status, but she was allowed to build the room.
In a letter, her son, Louis Rossetto points out the problems with the commission:
The very scariest thing about the proceedings last night was that there were at least two members of the LPC who believed that their job was not just to consider buildings that had been brought to them for landmarking, but they should actively be increasing the number of buildings in the City's "inventory." As one of them put it, "There are 40,000 buildings in Berkeley, and we have landmarked only 300." This, in a city that's barely 100 years old, and which already has more landmarked buildings, as I have noted, than San Francisco which is half a century older and has seven times the population.They do realize that by landmarking every building that they become less special right? Here's the city's list of landmarks and Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association's Gallery of them. I haven't been to too many of these sites, but really it doesn't seem to take much to landmark them at all.Email This Post!
When Life Hands You Lemons... Fundraise!
From Larry Stewart's LA Times column:
Fund-raising idea: Grant T. Harris, University of California student-body president in 1996-97, is asking alums to donate the money they would have spent attending the Rose Bowl to the Cal football program. His plea:Seconded. I know we have at least a handful of alumni readers, so pass the word on to your buddies (or send them a link to this post). Donations can be spread around to places besides just the football program. I'm sure every department on campus would love a donation from previous majors.
Thanks to Mack Brown for the tip-off.
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Kick Ass Sports Photography
There were two excellent sports photos in yesterday's Daily Cal. Can we see more of this Julie Himes girl? Click the photos to see a larger image:
.................................................................................. Spike!Email This Post!
Lisa Humes-Schulz, editor of Tuesday's sex issue:
Thanks to everyone who helped out and made the issue happen—who knew a four-page pull-out would require piling onto the conference room table under the covers and practicing sexual positions atop the sports and photo editors?I guess that is if you count the first page, which is just a gigantic picture of some Barbies arranged in a scandalous pose (the Daily Cal is so bad). And the last page, which is just a giant bookstore ad. Plus all the other ads on the inside pages.
Come on Daily Cal staffers, you've run nudity twice this semester on the front page, and in the sex issue you give us little plastic dolls with indeterminate genitalia.
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Rallying Call for Rose Bowl Protest
An email came in my inbox just a little while ago detailing plans for a Rose Bowl protest. It's probably landed in yours by now, but just in case it hasn't gotten to you yet or your spam filter blocked it, the main message is:
The only way to send a solid message to the BCS is in pure Berkeley tradition: by protesting. It's not enough to crush Texas Tech in San Diego - we need to send a message loud and clear. Gather at the gates to Rose Bowl grounds early New Year's day, and we'll form a protest the likes that Southern California has never seen.As some one points out in the UC Berkeley Livejournal Community, was this sent by BAMN? You can also read the full email there as well.
(thanks Neil)Email This Post!
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
A Daily Cal Math Lesson
From ASUC Senator Loses Seat for Poor Attendance
Five CalSERVE senators remain on board, weakening the party’s power in the senate. Since most bills need 14 votes to pass, CalSERVE senators must sway two independent senators to their side to pass their bills.Wow that's some tough math to do in my head. I better check what 14-5 is, but I'm pretty sure it isn't two.
(thanks Kevin for pointing this out)Email This Post!
Monday, December 06, 2004
Le Chateau co-op faces lawsuit from neighbors
Le Chateau, one of the more infamous of the co-ops run by the University Students Cooperative Association, is being sued for $105,000 by neighbors, claiming the co-op has been a public nuisance. The article in the SF Chronicle names several incidents committed by the co-op in the last few years including throwing pieces of a pig at passing cars and beheading a chicken with garden shears.
The house as recieved numerous other complaints from neighbors and the cops have visited the premises frequently. Still they maintain that "the activity at the Chateau is pretty much identical to what happens in every fraternity and sorority on campus.'' Soroities? Yeah, they're known for their animal decapatation parties (I can't necessarily say the same thing about the frats, though, just kidding).
Update: Calstuff Founder Kevin points out the age of the issue. The Daily Cal has had an article on the lawsuits since April.Email This Post!
Hit This Poll
ESPN is having a poll on the BCS system. You all should go vote. Right now.
Two questions pertain to Berkeley:
As of this post, California is the leading response to both those questions. Let's keep it that way.
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Tedford Signs 5 Year Contract
ESPN has the big news on Tedford agreeing to lead the Bears to future glory:
The bad news of Sunday at California will turn into good news Monday when the university announces that Golden Bear coach Jeff Tedford has agreed to a new five-year contract, a Pacific-10 Conference source said.There is a press conference at 2, and we'll have more after that.
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Another BCS Protest Planned
Facebook, the new method for quickly spreading viral messages at Berkeley, has news on another protest in the works. I recently received this message:
Sounds like fun. If anyone knows what group is behind this Wednesday protest, please let me know.Email This Post!
Fuck the BCS
Check out this CafePress store for all your "Fuck the BCS" needs.
*Update* I am in no way involved with this store and I have no idea who is behind it. For all I know, or care, it could be a Texas fan getting rich off of our anger with BCS... I'm just passing on a link,
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Sunday, December 05, 2004
Breaking: ASUC Senator Annalyn Terre has Been Replaced with Natasha Dandavati
Natasha Dandavati of the International and Out-of-State Student Party, the 21st place finisher in last spring's ASUC election, is now listed as one of the 20 Senators on the ASUC senate page.
Terre's situation has made numerous appearances in the news. After her attendance record was first noted to put her in danger of losing her seat, she explained that she had missed a senate meeting because, " because she was sexually assaulted by two individuals on her way to a Senate committee meeting."
Terre also alleged that EVP Christine Lee had given her permission to miss a meeting, even though that meeting was essential for Terre's attendance record to be satisfactory. In an attempt to make right her mistake, Lee ended up suing herself before the judicial council.
As these previous events left Terre's seat up in jeapordy, it appeared that the Senate was going to try to convene an emergency meeting at the end of the semester to allow Terre to meet the attendance quota. This all became moot after Terre missed last Wednesday's meeting (the 1st) and now Dandavati will get that seat. The judicial council has not yet ruled on Lee's lawsuit against herself, but I have been informed that they will be ruling soon and I will have the decision up as soon as it comes out.
[This post has been changed due to an error about the status of Lee's lawsuit before judicial council]
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Comments on the Football Team and Support Efforts
Everyone has been commenting on the BCS snub of Cal. This BCS mess has even forced computer site CNet News.com reporter and Cal alum Jeff Paline to go so far as to say "I hate computers." He expresses more of his outrage in this article.
The Cal Patriot Blog and Res Ipsa Loquitor have their posts on the issue, here and here respectively.
I, and chances are most of you by now, recently received this message via AIM.
Wear a California t shirt/sweatshirt/sweater.. whatever on Thursday Dec. 9, 2004 to show your support for the NUMBER 4 TEAM IN THE NATION and our dissent for the Beyond Corrupt System.(thanks Kathy)
Heck, we can do that all week. Go Bears and be sure to buy tickets to the Holiday Bowl, where we will be sure to take out all the agression we'll be harboring on the #22 Texas Tech Red Raiders.Email This Post!
Let's Have a Bonfire
Apparently some people counted their Rose Bowl merchandise before it hatched:
Cal's student store planned ahead, ordering about $500,000 in Rose Bowl-related merchandise, according to store director Greg Kiryakakis. Those T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats will begin arriving Tuesday unless things go amiss this weekend.
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BCS Fucks Over Cal
Today the Bowl Championship Series announced the pairings for the Bowl games, and Berkeley will be going to the Holiday Bowl instead of the Rose Bowl. BCS uses three different polls to rank teams (the Associated Press is a press poll and ESPN/USA Today is a coach's polls and there are 6 independent computer polls which are averaged together) and then uses this to assign bowl positions. The BCS website has the details behind all of these rankings on their website. (PDF)
Cal, which has been trailing the University Texas in the computer poll, was able to maintain our lead over them (and our shot at the rose Bowl) by maintaing a lead in the coach's polls. After our lead over Texas shrank in the coaches polls based on our slight victory over Southern Miss yesterday, Texas nudged ahead of us in the BCS ranking and secured the Rose Bowl slot.
We're going to go the holiday Bowl, against Texas Tech, which will be played in San Diego.
1) There is widespread anger over the BCS system, not only from Cal fans, and there will almost certainly be some reforms to the sytem. This year not were we screwed over, but there were three undefeated teams, making it that much more difficult to clearly say two should have a shot at the national championship. One interesting fix I've come across is to have a four team play-off for the national championship.
2) We're going to lose out on a moderate sum of money (little more than 200k) we would have received for playing in the Rose Bowl. That money could potentially be offset by alumni donations, if our loss of the Rose Bowl is played right. If alumni are convinced that all that stands between us and the Rose Bowl next year is the money to work on the stadium and convince Tedford to stay around, donations will probably come poring in. Perceived persecution can be the key to increased funding (just ask any Hillel on a campus with an anti-Semitism problem), and we are definitely in a position to play the victim card.
3) Tedford. He has said time and time again that he wants work begun on retrofitting the stadium, and it is entirely unclear where that money will come from. That being said, Tedford seems likely to stay for a couple of reasons. First, he has shown an extreme devotion to Cal and the players he has coached, including denying any intention of abandoning Cal to take an NFL offer. Second, he has within his grasp the ability to do even better next year than he did this year, and I can't see him walking away from that. Season ticket sales are way up, Berkeley's success has made recruiting easier, and clearly our trend is upward.
4) All other considerations aside, the Rose Bowl would have been amazing for our football program, and this is a considerable setback: "By ending their Rose Bowl drought, Cal would reap direct financial rewards, boost ticket and merchandise sales and possibly increase its chances of keeping Tedford." Now, not.
5) Fuck Texas
Update: More commentary from previous CalStuff Guest Commentator Ralph on why we missed out on the Rose Bowl and some other repurcussions.
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Adam Duritz serves as sideline for Southern Miss. Game
If you were listening to the Cal vs. Southern Miss. game on KGO Radio, you would have noticed that the sideline reporter was none other than Counting Crows singer and Cal fan Adam Duritz. The SF Chronicle spoke to him on being the sideline reporter. Favorite quote:
"For 30 years, I've believed Cal's going to win every game. It's only in the past couple of years that I've been right most of the time."SI.com also had an interview with him a few weeks back about being a Cal football fan.
Meanwhile, we'll be staying tuned for the BCS selection show at 2:00 PM for the Bowl announcements.Email This Post!
Saturday, December 04, 2004
UC Berkeley Hires New Admissions Director
After three months of searching, the UC Berkeley administation hired a new admissions director. The new hiree was the former assistant director at UF Gainesville...
Last week, the administration was able to find a highly-qualified replacement for Tom Campbell in Haas within the current pool of staffers. While Beetle points out that the current acting Admissions Director is not exactly quotable, I'm not sure it looks much better to hire an assistant out of the Everglades. The new director may be qualified, but it sure looks horrible for the university that they couldn't pull someone in from a higher position or a more prestigious university.Email This Post!
Friday, December 03, 2004
Bowl Tickets to be Rationed
With a convincing defeat over Southern Miss being the only thing between the Bears and the Rose Bowl, anxious eyes are turning toward a post-season Bowl Game. For everyone interested in getting tickets, this article has the information on when tickets will be available and how they will be given out (more information on the calbears website).
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Daily Cal Editorial Garbled
Today’s Daily Cal Editorial discussing the “federal court ruling allowing law schools to ban military recruiters from their campus” never comes out and takes a stand on the issue. First, Berkeley is chastised for its policy that, “aids and abets the efforts of the military on campus.” because of the military’s discrimination against gays and lesbians in the services.
Then, in the three concluding paragraphs, the Daily Cal makes their argument, which as far as I can tell goes something like this:
We support free speech, and don’t support groups that don’t support free speech, but we do support the free speech of those groups (but not too much free speech). Furthermore, we shouldn’t tolerate discriminatory organizations.Then there is this:
If the United States military tomorrow became an equal-opportunity employer, they would be welcome on our campus. But since they show no inclination to do so, it is the university’s responsibility to demonstrate, through example, what we think of the military’s bigoted practices.Not sure what that even means. What example are we supposed to take? Not let them on campus. But that would violate their free speech… The editorial doesn’t give an answer.
This is a long running gripe of mine with newspaper editorials. They oftentimes seem to go out of their way to avoid taking a clear stand on an issue. Why bother taking up space on the newspaper page if you’re not going to have something substantial and forceful to say on an issue? My only guess would be that in order to come up with an editorial view that a majority of the editorial staff supports, then it requires a compromise that makes it impossible to have a forceful editorial position.Email This Post!
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Suit Filed Against ASUC; Preliminary Injunction Issued
EVP Lee's Second (or Third?) appearance at Judicial Council Approaching
Daily Cal Article
Narodick v. Leybovich and Lee
Emergency Preliminary Injunction
So yeah, I filed a suit in the Judicial Council against the ASUC. Guess we can't claim too much credit in breaking it first. To sum up: I charge that $3300 in allocations made by the defendants were made without the consent or authority of the Senate, and I am requesting that fund from which the allocation was taken (Commercial Revenue Fund) be frozen until the issue is resolved. Since I'm a party involved, I won't editorialize here, but all you loyal readers are free to in the comments section.Email This Post!
MoveOn.org planning progressive movements for next year
The progressive web site MoveOn.org, founded by Berkeley residents Wes Boyd and Joan Blades to tell Congress "to move on" from the Clinton impeachment and made famous for organizing scores of people for liberal causes, is still not done. An article from The Ledger says the group is drawing up plans for next year, claiming "In the current circumstances, we are more needed than ever."
In the short term, MoveOn's leaders say its mission remains the same: mobilizing rapid response on issues of concern to the organization, from the Iraq war to future battles over Social Security privatization and nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court.Email This Post!
How football players and athletes interact with the UC Berkeley campus
Calstuff Reader(s?) H+M mentioned an article in the East Bay Express in the comments. As mentioned it features a comparison of the Stanford and Cal bands, as well as comparisions of the fans and the style of play by both teams. However, the article doesn't "go downhill from there." It deals with (at least what I found to be) an interesting (if not long) account of the football players lives as students.
The main points of the article:
1. With the ban on affirmative action, athletics is one way for the university to bring up its diversity numbers.
2. However, many of these athletes who come are not academically sound in many areas and are not interested in classes.
3. In many ways, they are seperated from the student body, as they live way from most other students and come from a very different background.
4. Some classes like Education 75 are catered to these athletes, who either pay very little attention and those like Marshawn Lynch who try to pay close attention to the lectures.
5. Tedford had introduced a new "Academic Gameplan" to help the players with their studies. While it was good for some, "Ryan Jones, a 2003 graduate and former starting center for Cal, recalls'I felt that the Gameplan dampened aspiring student athletes' ambitions by showing them a model for mere academic survival -- not outstanding success.'"
6. Update: Calstuff has made an error in asserting that Wale Forrester was a participant in the Blackout protest. He was helping with the planning of the protest but may not have been there during the protest. In fact, he is quoted in the article as saying "I'm not gonna be walking on Wednesday, because I got things to do." However, he may have had a change last second change of heart. If anyone knows for certain as to his attendence, let us know. The corrected text appears below.
Finally, the last page profiles Wale Forrester, who came to Cal on a football scholarship and later became an activist for the black community. He was one of the people who participated in the planning of Blackout protest last month, though he may have choose not to participate, feeling that the previous one in 2001 was not effective.
Yes quite long, but an interesting read if you have the time.Email This Post!
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Join CalStuff on Facebook.
*Update* The links in this post probably won't work, so just do a facebook search for calstuff.
As mentioned previously there is a CalStuff group on Facebook. You should go join right now, as there will be a raffle this Friday with some cool prizes.
Granted some of our readers are alumni and faculty and Daily Cal staffers embarrassed to admit that they read CalStuff, but the rest of you should join the group. There will be more exciting things occurring with the group in the future, not just the raffle.
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