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Nap Time!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008
Out-of-context comment of the day

Student Action girl: "Some of us are older than others."

Include your own out-of-context or ridiculous sightings in comments! Or just make stuff up, it's all good.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/31/2008 12:11:00 PM #
Comments (1)
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Election season is upon us! Thoughts!

The chalking seems more haphazard and busy than I remember it being last year.

The advertising for the SUPERB spring concert seems pretty aggressive, moreso I recall for previous years. They're putting up fliers on trash cans, poles, etc. It's almost as if they're running an ASUC election campaign. They aren't, of course. That would be wrong.

In a totally unrelated topic, the Save SUPERB folks are out advocating for their fee increase, with flags and everything. They've also got fliers, which are the same black-on-yellow style as those spring concert fliers (totally a coincidence, I'm sure). One of them asks if we want to see Jurassic 5 and Living Legends at the Greek Theatre again. They can't, though, due to budget cuts. And yet strangely, they can host the "biggest concert this campus has seen in over 6 years" on that shoestring budget by bringing the Counting Crows. Go figure.

the Jurassic 5 concert occurred in the spring of 2003, which means that, if my math is correct, this concert on their horribly atrophied budget is even bigger than that. It also means that pretty much nobody who was around back then is still around to wonder if they can hear them "again."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/31/2008 11:37:00 AM #
Comments (9)
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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Start your "How long does chalk last" clocks!

My favorite is at the intersection of Bancroft and Bowditch, where Student Action did their thingie with everyone's name. Then CalSERVE did their thingie directly above it, so a casual dude strolling by could easily conclude that they were CalSERVE folks.

By the way, do the Student Action fliers look a little information-light this year?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/30/2008 04:17:00 PM #
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Saturday, March 29, 2008
Missed business opportunity!

I was chilling at a delicious, high-class, authentic Mexican restaurant (La Burrita) when in strolls Curtis Lee and someone else to put a Student Action sign on the door. Sadly, the dudes running it didn't demand money.

By the way, what's with Lee's glasses? He wears them when he moves around, but not in his pictures.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/29/2008 04:25:00 PM #
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Good call

Tired of all those folks hosting videos which suggest that Islam is violent? Threaten them with death!

I watched thirty seconds before turning away in boredom. I hear it isn't very good, though I haven't watched it. Still, whatever failure it may have had in trying to communicate a message through the movie, it achieved success with an assist from the crazies.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/29/2008 03:21:00 PM #
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Friday, March 28, 2008
Performance Review: Jason Louie

Righto. Jason Louie.

I will revitalize the Greek Olympics on campus, which will include various events to foster leadership and to create a fun and supportive environment in which all Greeks can work together and get to know one another. By improving their relationships with each other and with the campus, Greeks can act as model organizations that students respect.
That's a pretty backhanded statement. Clearly nobody respected Greeks last year. Do folks respect them now?

The SLC is a valuable resource, but needs improvement in order to serve all students effectively. Many students are not able to attend SLC discussion sections due to time conflicts, and the SLC has a minimal number of computers to use. By increasing the number of discussion sections and improving the resources, students can receive extra help to achieve success.
I always thought the whole university should call itself a Student Learning Center. Anyway, I haven't taken introductory classes for years, and have nothing to say on the SLC.

Philanthropy is an essential pillar to all Greek organizations. It solidifies each organization's relationship with the ASUC and strengthens the partnership that our University has with the City of Berkeley. I hope to increase the funds available to Greeks for philanthropic endeavors so that all organizations can be actively involved in the community.
I guess we'll have to wait until budgeting to see how this one pans out.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/28/2008 12:22:00 AM #
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Performance Review: Winnie Kuo

And then came Winnie Kuo.

I believe that we need to increase student awareness of campus services and resources via information technology. The creation of a user-generated website for student groups will allow consolidation of efforts across groups working on similar projects, and thus reduce publicity waste. This will also be a valuable tool for increasing student involvement in groups.
There seem to be a few too many buzzwords in there. Did it happen? Well, it seems that folks can submit stuff for this calendar, though I don't know how much control that is, or what Kuo had to do with it.

I will promote diversity and networking across campus through ASUC support of activities coordinated by multi-student group representatives. This includes diversifying welcome week activities and socials throughout the school year.
These platforms are really getting repetitive.

I will build stronger bonds within the engineering community through inter-societal events. I will coordinate with pan-engineering groups to hold regular open invitations for engineers of different backgrounds to make new connections and find academic and professional opportunities.
I love to engineer pans, but that's not really what we're talking about here. Bringing groups together is the theme of the day.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/25/2008 11:47:00 PM #
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Performance Review: Chad Kunert

Up next is replacement SQUELCH! senator Chad Kunert (because Gabe Weiner just wasn't funny enough). I don't have any of his campaign material from way back, though I think it had something to do with cutting down trees (didn't happen!). His blurb on the ASUC website says
As your ASUC Senator, I will ensure student issues are addressed and resolved quickly. I want to create greater transparency in ASUC affairs, starting with the website. I will actively work to ensure fiscal responsibility in ASUC spending while providing more support to active student groups that enrich campus life. Lowering student fees will put money back in student's pockets. Our main concern as students is academics, and we should have all the tools we need to succeed like a 24 hour library. I am a proud CAL FAN and look forward to serving you! GO BEARS!
Well, BEARS did GO, and then stopped GOing about halfway through the football season, so judge for yourself. Fees aren't going down, I don't keep track of library hours, and I couldn't really measure how enriched student life is. As far as the website goes... just to pick a random page we have up-to-date spending information through July 25, 2007.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/25/2008 11:42:00 PM #
Comments (1)
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Performance Review: Philip Kim

Oh, right. These things. Philip Kim is up next. Kim has a pretty extensive absence record when it comes to Senate meetings, but it's not like showing up to Senate meetings actually get things done.

One of the most important purposes of student government is effective communication with the student body. As a Senator, one of my goals is to devise new ways of getting information to the students, including weekly updates on a section of the ASUC website to raise awareness of ASUC policy.
Well, there are updates on the website. You can see for yourself how helpful (or weekly, for that matter) you think they are. I dunno what Kim actually had to do with it, though.

As a fall extension student, I never felt fully integrated with the campus. I hope to encourage fall extension students to become more involved in on-campus activities. I will work with the Fall Extension staff to plan new events that appeal to both fall extension students and on-campus freshmen so that they can become a cohesive freshman class.
Like I'm going to follow freshman team-building exercises. How integrated do you feel, extension folks?

I am an advocate and member of the Asian American community on campus and believe that it is important to represent this community in the ASUC. I hope to bring greater overall communication between Asian-American groups and the ASUC, as well as provide a voice for the community in the ASUC.
Because all Asian Americans form a single, monolithic community. Or should, I guess. Who knows?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/25/2008 11:34:00 PM #
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Counting Crows

So, buried in my non-minute report on the ASUC minutes from a few weeks back was the note that the Counting Crows were coming for a concert. SUPERB General Manager Eugene Chow contacted me and asked me to change that piece of information so that it would be more suggestive, or remove the "Shatners" reference. See, crazy concert people changed the contract so that they couldn't even bill the event as an event by the Shatners, but just couldn't say anything. So their mention of it in the Senate turned into a whoops moment.

I don't typically remove information upon request unless it's false, so I'm going to leave it in, which Chow seemed fine with.

However, I'm a very cynical person, and I suggested that it seemed like the concert, scheduled for April 4, was an attempt to get votes for the SUPERB fee increase. The concert, "the biggest concert this campus has seen in over 6 years" according to Chow, will be fresh in everyone's mind so that they'll forget that they haven't been getting concerts like this all year, and won't even if the fee passes. (That's the thing about "biggest-in-6-years concerts." They won't come again within most college careers)

Just like last year, when the executives scheduled all their major events to be around election time and then sent out an e-mail talking about it at election time, also reminding folks to vote, it seems like an effort to cover up an ineffective rest-of-the-year.

In response, Chow noted being on track to have an attendance record of 24,000 students this year. Of course, they have no way of knowing how many students have attended their events. Their attendance records will count attendances, but obviously many students go to more than one event. Even if they were all different students, that's still a third of campus not served. The actual proportion of students served is far lower. Is that impressive? I dunno. I certainly haven't noticed a glut of SUPERB events this year.

But that 24,000 number is interesting. The fee increase they seek is $6 a year per student for SUPERB, which with this year's enrollment and budget data means a budget boost of around $91,500. If they took that out of their attendees, it's about $4 an attendance, and if they put on more stuff and attendance goes up, that cost goes down. Are SUPERB's events simply not good enough to get attendance if people have to pay? And if so, why does that mean that everyone else should have to subsidize their inadequacy?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/25/2008 11:20:00 AM #
Comments (11)
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Monday, March 24, 2008
Bored During Spring Break?

If so, let me link you to what I think is the most interesting blog post I've seen this year. Here. Go read it, then come back.

The link doesn't really do it justice, because it isn't the content of the post itself that's what makes it so interesting (although it is interesting, in a sense). You can follow his link to his response to comments, and you can look around in various other parts of the blogosphere and find some downright hilarious stuff going on (That one Glenn accused that other Glenn of linking to the post above this post by some other guy because he's subliminally trying to promote racism while maintaining plausible deniability and...).

But the central point of that post was made a thousand times over not by the post itself but by the response it provoked. Nobody wants an honest discussion on race in America. No one wants white people to talk about their anger and frustration. They want white people to sit in the middle of a circle while every other group pelts them with blame and accusations. (Some of those who have taken diversity training to become an RA in the past decade or so will recognize that this is not just a metaphor but something that actually happens.) And, as the first part of the post describes, white people accept that, pretty much.

So when he then goes on to the second part of his post and tells us what he really feels about race, out comes the response that validates everything he said in the first part of the post. And it's total nonsense.

It's nonsense because when the great arbiter of racism enters the comment box and declares "You, Sir, are a racist," nothing whatsoever has changed. Let's grant exactly that: The writer is a racist. What has this storm of "gotcha!" achieved? What has been gained by the game of "that guy who linked that guy is a racist" "nuh uh, I linked someone else, so I'm not really racist"? They asked for an honest discussion about race, and once someone took them up on the offer, it's "Let's see who we can hurt with this in order to score political points!" And all that's happened is nothing.

Because if you think "OldPunk" is the only white guy out there who thinks these things, you're completely ignorant. You can respond that "he's a racist" and walk away, confident that you've "won," but what did you win? What contest, besides the personal ego gratification war in your mind, have you emerged victorious from? What have you actually done to fight racism? If you aren't interested in accepting his feelings as genuine and actually engaging them, but you also believe that those feelings are racism, then the answer to racism you have provided is to shrug your shoulders. To leave it to fester. To say "Oh, there it is," and then walk off.

Is the belief that, if white people continue to be placed in the position where they may never talk, they'll nevertheless accept the result of the discussion they aren't allowed to join? Blacks put up with it because they had no choice but to submit. Even then, they eventually decided not to put up with it anymore. Do they really expect that whites, holding all the cards, will eventually just say "You know what? All those other folks are right."

Of course not. Most whites respond by just letting their feelings simmer. White elites respond by playing up every racial conflict they can and building mistrust. Do you think the L.A. Riots were a step forwards or backwards in this fight? Oh, and the Drug War! Don't forget the Drug War. If you think letting those feelings simmer and fester is harmless, try proposing an end to the Drug War to the general populace. What did it take to make weed legal in California? Was there a shift in opinion about the physiological and psychological effects? Or did the "right people" start using it?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/24/2008 08:08:00 PM #
Comments (4)
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Sunday, March 23, 2008
On the fee

I've made a seperate post for how idiotic Josh Daniels and the Graduate Assembly were on the SUPERB fee.

Josh Daniels brought a parade of grad students to come bitch about the SUPERB fee because merely assigning part of the fee to be towards graduate entertainment wasn't sufficient. As we all know, graduate students don't go to movies, attend concerts, or enjoy comedy shows. Therefore, anything tuned towards entertainment of the type SUPERB does doesn't help graduate students at all. In fact, giving money to the Graduate Assembly to spend on entertainment was also insufficient. The only thing Josh Daniels would approve of was handing the GA a large sack of money to do whatever it wants with. At the time, such a plan wasn't approved, but who knows what happened last week?

It's sort of true that graduate students benefit less, but that's just because we don't do as much stuff. Every cent we give to the ASUC we get less out of than undergraduates, and that doesn't change when it's the GA spending the money. Giving the money to the GA just means fancier food and booze at GA events for delegates.

He also complained about the freeing up of funds for student groups. The money freed up would only go towards undergraduate groups (not really true, but whatever). SUPERB is currently entirely funded by undergraduate fees, since the GA gets every dime the ASUC collects from graduate students. Of course that money would only go towards things the ASUC Senate controls. I'm sorry Daniels has such a hard time finding anything entertaining about SUPERB. He joins me and an enormous fraction of campus in that, and that was true even when I was an undergrad. But unless he's prepared to refund the money he takes from the vast majority of graduate students who gain nothing whatsoever from the GA, there's no reason we should give a fuck about what he says about access to benefits from a fee.
Mr. Wu asked if he believed there were a significant number of undergraduate students who were not served by SUPERB and wouldn't benefit from it getting ASUC funding. Mr. Daniels said the referendum was structured to be equally accessible to all undergrads, via ASUC funding and SUPERB. But it wasn't structured to have equal access to grads due to the types of events SUPERB put on and the way undergrad groups apply to the ASUC and grad groups apply to the GA. Structurally speaking, the Referendum wouldn't provide grads with the same opportunities as undergrads.
Holy shit. Holy fucking shit. The reason graduate students aren't being served is because they aren't interested in these kinds of things. But the undergraduates who aren't being served because they aren't interested in these kind of things are being served because they have equal access to the referendum. Graduate students have exactly the same kind of access, but somehow this logic doesn't apply to them.

Really, this is yet another example of why the Graduate Assembly needs to quit bitching and seek true autonomy. They gave it up a few years back with their idiotic Memorandum of Understanding referendum, and I don't know why. Actually, I do know why: They want to keep getting the money without taking on the responsibilities of actually representing graduate students, but these are the consequences of that decision, and they need to suck them up.

I'm opposed to the fee, of course, because it's absolute horseshit in almost every way (Here's some of what I said last year, which still holds), but pissing off the money-grubbing, power-hungry GA will be a nice consolation prize if it passes. That's only if it survived this week, though. Does anyone know? So rarely do I get the chance to watch two groups I despise go at it like this.
Ms. Patel said that when the Senate considers this bill, they should consider the language, faith, and quality of the Referendum, rather than Senators' personal opinions on its content. As Senators, they should vote on language and content, not whether they were for or against it. A decision on student fees should be made on election day, not in the Senate Chamber. It was unfair to bring up huge amendments since the bill has been on the floor for so long and Mr. Chow and Mr. Mazur, the Directors have been coming out. The bill has been passed by two committees. So if amendments were going to be made, they should have been made earlier. Every time an amendment was made, the language had to go back to UCOP and go through the process again. Making an amendment was a lot of work for Mr. Mazur, Mr. Chow, and other people participating in the referendum.
There's no particular basis for her claim about the purpose of the Senate vote. I would argue that the point of the Senate vote is to make sure that only those bills which have support among elected officials go to the election. In any case, her whining about "too late to make amendements" would make a lot more sense if she didn't propose it at the last possible second.
Mr. Weiner asked if the impetus for the Referendum was that SUPERB didn't have the best financial situation or entertainment for both grads and undergrads, requiring more funding. Mr. Mazur said he would never say SUPERB was more important than any other group, but it was in a unique position. There were a lot of variable costs and costs that were increasing, such as with Wheeler. SUPERB was trying to get a stable source of income to better expand its services, to include grads more and have bigger and better events. Mr. Chow said if they had increased funds, they'd have a better level of entertainment on the campus.
So... nothing at all about that response describes what's unique about SUPERB. All groups have those issues.

Once Gabe Weiner started asking about why other groups weren't included, Lisa Patel's tune changed really quickly from "we should get a referendum that is high quality and in good faith" to "just approve what's in front of you!"
A general entertainment fee was a little different and wasn't what the Senate was currently dealing with. It was up to the student body whether to support a referendum like this, and the Senate shouldn't make the decision for them. The Senate's decision that evening was whether this should be on the ballot. They didn't have a general entertainment fee before them that evening. Any amendment to the bill would essentially kill it because the language would have to go back to UCOP.
Gee, if only there was a way to avoid this outcome. You know, maybe introduce it with a bit of time before the deadline? Despite Corey Jackson saying that he wasn't comfortable with this approach, the Senate just went along like the sheep they are, rather than standing up for students and demanding better "quality" and "faith" from those proposing referenda.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/23/2008 05:00:00 PM #
Comments (10)
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Hours, finally

So, I finally got around to reading the minutes from two weeks back.

JP decided that all parties were at fault at the Tikvah/SJP thing a few weeks back. If you know what I'm talking about, great. If not... meh. It's the boring "I'm too afraid to stand up for anyone" conclusion. I was there, and that conclusion is pretty silly. The SJP folks had a protest. Tikvah had a protest against the SJP protest. The SJP folks approached the Tikvah folks and started yelling at them, and following them around with their signs in order to block the Tikvah sign. When the Tikvah students moved to a new location, SJP followed them to keep the conflict going. You could reasonably conclude that nobody did anything wrong, and it was just an expression of free speech by both sides. You could not reasonably conclude that Tikvah was at fault for the hostility (besides the vague idea that showing up to disagree breeds hostility, I guess), unless you're Jonathan Poullard and let your political beliefs determine how you handle student conduct issues. (JP refers to some YouTube videos, and I'd love to point you to them, but I dunno where they are.)

Nad Permaul said that there may be an effort by some fee committee to recommend that student fee increases be presented the previous semester so there was actual time to talk about them and deal with the issues (especially the Office of the President review). This would certainly be nice, as we've seen the ASUC fail quite miserably at putting fees on the ballot by waiting until the last minute.

I discovered that the ASUC does not have a Solicitor General. I know they appointed one earlier, but I guess that person vanished. I guess, strictly speaking, the ASUC only needs to approve an SG to do business. There's nothing prohibiting them from then discarding the SG. Still, I think they might be missing the spirit of the rule by a bit.

Jessica Schley apparently lied to the Senate by saying that Fresh was a student (he was a former student) and comically described "a Senator-sponsored hate crime Facebook page."

Surprise! The Counting Crows are supposedly coming to campus April 4, but it's a "surprise concert," and they'll be billed as the "Shatners." Concert people are weird. Anyway, I think I just blew the surprise. Whoops.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/23/2008 04:00:00 PM #
Comments (16)
. . .

In their continuing effort to make their website less and less useful, the Daily Cal has eliminated the article text search. It used to be a simple matter to find articles on some topic: Just type in some word that you know was in the article (usually a name), and look through the results. That was too convenient, though. Now we only have a headline search (or author or photographer search). Yay. I wonder what was in the opinion section on Friday...

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/23/2008 12:14:00 PM #
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Friday, March 21, 2008
Spring Break!

Hey, it's spring break! Stay tuned for the Daily Cal to write an article about how everyone at Cal went to do boring helpful stuff rather than show off their boobs.

I'm still here, as usual. I'll probably finish up my performance review series while everyone's not paying attention, and then just throw up a link afterwards. Otherwise, posting will be fairly light.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/21/2008 10:05:00 PM #
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What shitty timing

So, here we have an actual conflict between administrators and students, where students are facing the heavy hand of a controlling administration, led by the great JP (Jonathan Poullard), and the story comes out the Friday before Spring Break. It's like the Daily Cal is allergic to starting anything interesting whatsoever.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/21/2008 01:03:00 PM #
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Nice glasses

If you were to ask me to find you a picture of Oldrich Whiteman, I would probably direct you here.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/21/2008 01:02:00 PM #
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It's your fault

The Daily Cal is mad that the Senate didn't eliminate all polling locations for the ASUC election. I don't know how they missed the minor detail that it would be unconstitutional, and the effort to remove that constitutional restriction failed last year because people were too dumb to vote for it. It seems like it would be worth mentioning, at least.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/21/2008 01:00:00 PM #
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Actually, that's a PACE flag.

Hey, Why isn't anyone arresting me?

"He was later freed and arrested."

Let's talk about dedication:
"We're here to get arrested," said Leslie Mullin, 63. "The people have to step into this war because none of the government officials want to do it for us. We've gone all over town and people are saying, 'Good for you.' "
Did they then... you know... do anything?

In related news, there was a set-up on Sproul along the same lines by some folks who didn't really advertise who they were. It included some cardboard boxes and signs. One quoted Laura Nader and said:
Upon Return, 5,000 U.S. Soldiers Commit Suicide
A few minutes later, it said
Upon Return, 5,000 U.S. Soldiers Have Commit Suicide
Later still, it read
Upon Return, 5,000 U.S. Soldiers Have Committed Suicide
I'm rather curious how that compares to, say, the overall suicide rate of a comparable body of people. Otherwise, it doesn't mean a whole lot.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/19/2008 06:53:00 PM #
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Whoo Hoo

Chris has the candidate list.

I'll note that I did request the list, but the Elections Council didn't send it to me. I'll also note that the e-mail includes instructions on sending in party statements for the voter's guide, but wasn't sent to party signatories. I have no clue why, even after being asked, they're refusing to include signatories on the mailing list for candidate information. It's not like they're sending out any secrets.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/19/2008 06:29:00 AM #
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Minutes? More like hours!

I have the minutes from last week's ASUC meeting, but I don't really feel like digging through 67 pages of whining right now. I'll just direct your attention to these amusing thoughts after passage of the referendum bill:
Mr. Chow said this had to go back to UCOP, which will amend it, and it would then have to come back to the Senate, and there was a Friday deadline for referenda. He asked if it was possible to call a Special Meeting to just approve the amendments to go back on the ballot.

On a point of information, Ms. Patel asked how she would call a Special Meeting. Ms. Allbright said notice of a Special Meeting had to be given at least 48-hours before the Special Meeting. A "notice" was defined as a posting on the doors of the Senate Chambers and other conspicuous places, and notifying Officers and the Senate Aide. A Special Meeting was at the call of the President, the Executive VP, or five Senators.

Ms. Patel asked if they could bring this up again on Wednesday night. Ms. Allbright said main motions required a posting of at least one week. Mr. Weiner said it could be reconsidered and brought back. Ms. Allbright said that would be out of order. Things had to be reconsidered at the meeting they were considered. Mr. Weiner said a motion to amend something previously adopted would be in order. The Senate could consider any UCOP amendments to the language, and the Senate could approve the Referendum in that way.
Are we going to get this bullshit again? Listen, fuckers. If you find yourself running out of time to get all the approvals necessary for your referenda, start proposing them before the last possible minute. It's not that complicated. They'd better damn well hope that the Judicial Council will let them do what they're planning, because I intend to make them justify it this year. And that case won't be filed until the week before elections, when the minutes of tomorrow's meeting come out, and when, coincidentally, they'll be enjoying the stress-free campaign lifestyle.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/18/2008 08:56:00 PM #
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Candidates' Meeting

I was at the candidates' meeting today. Some things to report:

There's apparently a one-man party running for three offices, called the "1000 year party" or some such. I support the wide proliferation of such parties. There is also a Co-operative Movement (or maybe Cooperative Movement) party.

I/Chris will post a candidates' list if we get it.

Interestingly, on the sign-in sheet, parties had abbreviations for their names. Student Action was SA, CalSERVE was CS, etc. FUCK, however, was **, which I found pretty hilarious.

The university has taken the "no chalking at all on sidewalks adjacent to university property" view as they did last year, which means no 50% rule.

One individual (CalSERVE affiliated, I believe) was checking this blog while we were sitting there, and started making a comment which began "Dear Beetle." I told her she could just tell me what she wanted to say, and she was quite surprised to find me there, and said she would ask later. I'm still waiting. If you're reading this, mystery CalSERVE girl, let your thoughts be known! We can even go out to coffee, if you like.

This Elections Council has a very odd concept of randomness. There were 11 parties, but they only had 10 little slips of paper. So when determining the order of parties, the 11 parties down on a single sheet of paper, and then drew numbers out of the hat to give them the order. SQUELCH! was the 11th party on the list, which was then automatically assigned position 11. The randomness, supposedly, was that the Elections Council Chair wrote them down in the order he was holding the filing statements, and those filing statements weren't in any particular order. Hence random, I guess.

Anyway, since FUCK isn't running any Senators, they redid it and it all worked out, though I'm not sure SQUELCH! benefited, since being 11th means being on the top of half of the ballots.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/18/2008 08:10:00 PM #
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Performance Review: Corey Jackson

Moving the fuck on. (This is really becoming more about just reminding people what these folks said before, so you can judge for yourself) Corey Jackson.

Berkeley's rich history of activism seems to have given way to the individual, and the focus tends to be on their life's trajectory. I yearn for that passion, that sense of community, and I celebrate those student groups who suspend the tendency to focus on the self, and look outwards, toward the community and support a cause larger than themselves. It is this ardor for student activism that compels me to bring these groups to the forefront of campus consciousness.
I'm not sure he said anything there besides "I'm a communist and I hate individuals!" That's not a plan, so judging its success is difficult.

As one of the finest higher education institutions in the world, Berkeley should be the premier destination for leaders in the world of academia, politics, and pop culture. There is a serious disparity between Berkeley's guest lecturers and that of other colleges with similar academic reputations. I intend to pursue a large-scale speaker series on campus that will bring powerful speakers to Berkeley who will engage the student population.
I don't remember any speakers of great power this year. There certainly hasn't been a surge in such speakers.

Berkeley's financial aid system is fragmented and hindered by unnecessary bureaucracy, leaving students feeling confused and helpless. It is the ASUC's responsibility to establish an intermediary between the financial aid office and students. Doing so will introduce clarity and accountability, which the financial aid process currently fails to provide to students.
The university pays me to teach, so I don't need financial aid, but I don't know of any intermediary being established.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/18/2008 04:17:00 PM #
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Performance Review: Daniel Galeon

Blah blah Senator Daniel Galeon. The fourth.
Funding Retention and Professional Development Programs

Retention-based student groups, professional development programs, and honor societies are continually faced with inadequate funding to support their services. These services benefit the campus community at large. As a Senator, I will work to increase their funding and encourage greater student involvement in these professional groups.
Budgeting not done yet! Can't really judge.
Community Network within the ASUC

Student voices are not given the amount of consideration they deserve at ASUC Senate meetings. As a Senator, I will work in conjunction with the Academic Affairs Vice President and the Senate to establish forums for students to build networks and share resources. I will also support cultural and social awareness seminars for ASUC elected officials.
How aware is your Senator? How's your network doing? Again, I don't have any information to talk about this.
Increasing Campus Safety

90% of reported campus crimes involve theft. As a Senator, I will provide resources to organizations that work to reduce this crime and advocate for increasing safety-related programs on campus such as blue-light emergency poles, late-night security during library study-hours, and the Bearwalk program.
As a male, I take great risks with my safety, so I don't actually use any of these services. Are they doing better now than they were?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/18/2008 04:12:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
So Amgry!

There's a crazy World Can't Wait guy driving around in a car with a bullhorn on top of it advertising their "Direct Action" in San Francisco, which is supposedly going to stop the war.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/18/2008 02:16:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Stuff coming up

Curtis Lee wants to create yet another grant fund, this time for "Public Service."

Some Senators are putting forward a bill to move $6000 from Carry Forward to Contingency, and it also says this will be the last such allocation.

Another bill supports the crazy Greenpeace folks in some of their non-pirate activities against Kleenex.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/18/2008 02:08:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Monday, March 17, 2008

Albert Wu sent me a list of Senate candidates in a file literally labeled "Beetle Release."

If you're interested:

Apple Engineering
David Nordel
Regine Labog
Tu Tran
Winnie Kuo

Student Action
Aaron Ruvalcaba
Andrea Kramar
Christian Calderon
David Li
Eddie Nahabet
Eric Choi
Marcus Caimi
Meghana Dhar
Sarah Cho
Tara Raffi
Yishi Zuo
Yuna Shin

Unite Greek
Chris Miller
Reyhan Bilici
Sheila Chen
Will Smelko

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/17/2008 06:29:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

The Daily Cal doesn't find SQUELCH!'s slate announcement newsworthy, I guess. I dunno what logic it uses. It's certainly not "We only publish serious candidate slates," because they published an article on a slate of losers delivered on a napkin.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/17/2008 06:40:00 AM #
Comments (2)
. . .
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Performance Review: Danielle Duong

Senator Danielle Duong's plans were:

Our health is in jeopardy. Cal students face too much stress and pressure from our demanding and never-ending workloads. Simultaneously, the disconnect between students and University Health Services (UHS) creates barriers to the healthcare students need at the Tang Center. I will bridge this gap by working closely with the Tang Center to make health services more visible, cut wait-time at Urgent Care, and ensure that student feedback is used to make positive changes at UHS.
I have no idea whatsoever. I avoid the Tang Center like the plague, because I'm afraid if I go I'll get the plague.

As diverse as Cal claims to be, our campus is in dire need of cross-cultural solidarity. Students struggle to establish connections outside of their comfort zones in fear of being judged and excluded. I will continue the fight for a safe space to share and hear each others' stories throught a Multicultural Center, and ensure that the new Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion will work towards a more supportive and inclusive campus climate.
You can't really measure the progress, or lack thereof, on an ambiguous goal like this.

Currently, the ASUC does not reach out to all parts of campus to develop student leaders. The ASUC's resources and services should be available to all students. I will work to keep the ASUC accountable by ensuring that the internship program in each office is providing interns with valuable experiences and expanding ASUC opportunities to targeted student groups by organizing monthly forums with campus leaders.
I think I recall her going to tables on Sproul trying to get people to sign up for these forums. I also recall that the sign up sheet was blank when I saw it. I don't know if the forums were ever held, or if they accomplished anything.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/16/2008 11:26:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Performance Review: Rebecca Coleman

Senator Rebecca Coleman's plans were:
Building Bridges Between Communities

The co-ops have not had a representative in the ASUC Senate for too long. If I am elected the co-ops will have the representation we need to secure ASUC resources and collaborate with other student organizations. As senator I will organize programming, workshops, and community service projects with student groups to ensure cross-community collaboration.
The Co-op representative to the Senate was actually unambiguously accomplished. I get the feeling I won't be saying that very often. As for the organizing... who knows?
Fighting for Environmental Sustainability

The UC Berkeley campus emits over 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. As senator I will ensure that funds are allocated for "green" projects. I will bring my experience working with environmental groups to support environmental education, renewable energy, and green building at UC Berkeley.
I don't recall any actual funding being provided for "'green' projects." There was the effort to get the Bears Lair restaurants green certified, if that impresses you.
Ensuring Affordable Education and Housing

Due to rising student fees, many students cannot enjoy the world-class public education that UC Berkeley provides. As a co-oper I am committed to affordable education and housing. As a senator I will fight to reduce high student fees so that everyone, including members of historically underrepresented groups, can attend UC Berkeley and have an affordable place to live.
Sadly, we'll never know if her commitment to reducing student fees included actually voting against the one fee increase she could vote on, though if she wants to claim that she voted against it, she can. Reducing fees otherwise? Reducing housing costs? No success that I know of.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/16/2008 11:16:00 PM #
Comments (3)
. . .
Performance Reviews

With elections coming up, it's a good time to take a look back at the campaign promises of our beloved ASUC elected officials. I saved copies of the campaign websites for the CalSERVE and Student Action Executives and Senators last year, and I'll be strolling through them over the next week or two.

I should note that I don't know everything that goes on everywhere on campus, so feel free to chip in your own thoughts about whether things have or have not been accomplished.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/16/2008 11:12:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
My own feelings

As for my own personal feelings about the elections, I don't think I've ever cared less about an ASUC election, except maybe my freshman year as an undergrad (way back in 2001). Interesting note: My RA at the time was Tony Falcone, which may amuse any old-school ASUC dudes who still check the blog.

To a person who feels safest when the people in charge are in conflict (e.g. me), one of the biggest drawbacks of a Student Action executive slate is their blind agreement with the university administration on almost everything. This attitude helped bring us the ridiculous Lower Sproul "give money to the university for no reason whatsoever" fee and the RSF "we suck too much to convince people to show up, so it's subsidy time!" fee, although Josh Daniels's own willingness to bend over for the administration helped push that first one.

Similarly, Student Action domination of all aspects of the ASUC led to some of the most dramatic corruption we've ever seen in the "the legal bills I incurred failing to sue the ASUC must be paid by the student body" conflict of 2006. I'm still astounded that anyone succeeded in derailing it, though I'm not fully convinced that's what happened.

CalSERVE, on the other hand, claims my voice as its own, which is personally offensive to me. It postulates the existence of some "student voice," and denies any dissent. It denies the individuality and humanity of most students, preferring to define people in terms of their collective identities, grouping them into "communities." Their ridiculously one-sided and often false statements on world events make me gag when they insist that I'm the one making them.

Where does that leave me? With SQUELCH!, of course, but let's be real. As a commentator, CalSERVE is the way to go, because conflict gives me something to talk about. It's also safer for my wallet. My own personal dignity, though, demands Student Action control. CalSERVE is my enemy. They've declared themselves to be such year after year. Student Action perceives me to be their enemy, for some reason (they didn't even send me their press release... *sniffle*), but they're pretty much the enemy of my enemy.

Now that I'm quitting being a commentator, I have less reason to want a CalSERVE victory. There's still the money thing, of course, but the fact that I have the spare cash to sink into large-scale election jokes suggests that my opposition to fee increases is more a matter of principle than one of pocket protection, and in a war of principles, the party which dehumanizes me loses.

Since CalSERVE has outlived its usefulness as a provider of my entertainment, I think I'm going to throw my unenthusiastic vote in with Student Action this year. Don't expect me to be a partisan, though, as I'll gleefully mock every stupid campaign detail I notice from SA.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/16/2008 10:11:00 PM #
Comments (4)
. . .
ASUC Elections Thoughts

Last year, my election predictions were so wrong that I don't think I'm going to bother making them this year.

I also know very little about most of the executive slates that matter, this year. Roxanne Winston will get clobbered by Curtis Lee (Oops, I guess that's a prediction), but I know nothing about the other CalSERVErs. For that matter, the only other SAer I know anything about is Christian Osmeña, who I hope loses because there's no "ñ" key. Even though Grace Shen is in the Senate, I don't recall seeing much noise out of her.

This is the first time I remember where Student Action reran one of their executives. Running against Roxanne, Student Action could've thrown pretty much anyone they felt like and still pulled off a victory, probably.

I won't be saying much about BEARS-United or FUCK on the blog for the same reason as last year. In any case, in the scheme of actual election results, they don't really matter, though I suppose I could imagine a scenario where they get in SQUELCH!'s way.

Speaking of SQUELCH!, Gabe Weiner has not been making pals, and the party may suffer for it.

Anyway, knock yourselves out in comments with wild accusations and false rumors.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/16/2008 09:53:00 PM #
Comments (4)
. . .
Friday, March 14, 2008

Judging from this comment, the tree-sitter resolution was withdrawn. If it wasn't, I'm sure it will be now.

It seems odd to withdraw the resolution on the say-so of Fresh, though. If it isn't a bill in support of him, what difference would it have made if he supported it or not? If the idea was to find a good resolution, why would him feeling it distracts from the issues he finds important matter?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/14/2008 09:31:00 PM #
Comments (4)
. . .

Chris Page is making a list of all known candidates. SQUELCH! announced their slate today. You can read their press release here.

Last line of their press release e-mail:
Thank you, and I trust you'll cover our slate announcement in the same manner that you have already treated the other parties' announcements. :-)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/14/2008 08:49:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .

I heard there was going to be a protest against Fresh and his tree-sit at noon today, but no one was screaming when I walked by. How disappointing.

I've heard third-hand that he came down today, by the way. (Daily Cal)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/14/2008 03:43:00 PM #
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. . .
Still no opposition

The Daily Cal still can't find anyone to say anything negative about the fee increase.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/14/2008 10:12:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Thursday, March 13, 2008

Since Student Action always keeps their slate a secret until the last moment, it's clear that they have something to hide. Has anyone taken a census of Florida hookers lately?

What's the logic behind it? Do they figure that, if they hide the fact that Person X is running, people will be less hostile when Person X introduces herself for no apparent reason?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/13/2008 05:49:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .

So, of course, the Senate voted for the fee increase last night (this morning, actually). I'm told it was a voice vote, so we'll never know who voted for it or against it, or, for that matter, if it even got the 11 votes it needed to pass. CalSERVE may have done their usual silence-at-voice-vote thing where they didn't actually stop the referendum but will tell all their friends that they didn't vote for it.

Thanks to Gabe Weiner for forwarding the amendments to me. I don't see why those amendments couldn't instead be sent to some kind of public record somewhere so we don't have to bug individual senators for them. There were changes to the composition of the committee, and, of course, they added "Hey, money for financial aid" to the end of the ballot question because it's easier to manipulate voters that way.

In other ASUC news, the flier wars have begun, and I've seen a few torn down. I'm really hoping that one of these years the ASUC passes a change to the By-Laws that demands campaigners respect city property as well as university property, but that would require them to give up some of their power, so they'll never vote for it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/13/2008 02:44:00 PM #
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. . .

So, the webcam page (the Java viewer went kaput, I think) doesn't actually tell us anything the Senate does, but it sometimes tells us what is being discussed at the time. This is supposedly helpful to people who want to arrive for specific discussions, though I don't see how useful it is when the Senate can jump around on the agenda at will.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/13/2008 01:31:00 AM #
Comments (2)
. . .
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The fee increase will be voted for today. I hope I don't see anyone who votes for this fee increase later demand lower fees.

By the way, some Senators seem to take the view that, since it's a referendum, they should vote for it so that the students can have their say. This is silly for two reasons.

First, the Senate needs to act as a filter of sorts. After this fee failed, do we really have to run a campaign to defeat it yet again, because the Senators want students to have their say every fucking year?

Second, the Constitution requires the Senate to approve the referenda. If the role of the Senate was to just rubberstamp every referendum so students could vote for it, why bother having them vote on it at all? The idea is that students should be forced to deal with it only if the elected officials approve it. We elect them, supposedly, to represent us, not pass every decision on to us.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/12/2008 07:03:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
ASUC Elections Roundup

Whee! It's easier for me to just post a summary of ASUC elections stuff I've noticed since the last time I bothered to post, so let's do that.

Yaman's response to Gabe's post on the ASUC blog mysteriously vanished, and has been reposted. Yaman said Gabe was censoring him, and Gabe said it was an accident while playing around with admin settings.

Some dude started CalSUCK to criticize CalSERVE.

There's been some discussion on the webcam. There currently is a functional webcam here, but being able to see some guy talking isn't really much use, if you ask me. A podcast is what's really needed, but there's no sound system in place for it. The discussion started because some guy on one of my posts talked about how awesome CalSERVE was for getting it working, but I'm unimpressed.

Supposedly, on that page, there'll be notes or something by the chair and vice chair of the Senate while things are going on. Whether they'll be particularly informative or not remains to be seen, and I guess we might find out tonight.

The Daily Cal published an article on the CalSERVE press release, using a picture directly from it. The picture is credited to a "Sean Jain," who is apparently an Irish-American. Shawn Jain, on the other hand, is the CalSERVE signatory. I wonder if the Daily Cal should be obligated to mention that when they use the picture from the press release.

Another comment from the comments asks whether it makes sense to run someone who isn't a Senator for the Executive Vice President position, on the assumption that having been in the Senate is a boon for being able to run it. I'm not entirely sure it's a good thing for someone from the Senate crowd to be running the Senate, as it breeds complacency with the way things are, even when it's clearly wrong. (e.g. There's still a one-week turnaround before we find out what the Senate did, and we never know if they'll completely change it in the minutes)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/12/2008 06:48:00 PM #
Comments (3)
. . .
We're tools!

It looks like the Daily Cal let itself be used. Note that the article doesn't give the slightest hint that this ambush was not related to the issue or that it was unpopular (besides maybe "as more than a dozen attendees walked out" but that could be for any reason).

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/12/2008 10:20:00 AM #
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. . .
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
CalSERVE slate

Shawn Jain, party signatory for CalSERVE, sent a press release announcing their slate:

President: Roxanne Winston
EVP: Krystle Pasco
AAVP: Carlo de la Cruz
EAVP: Dionne Jirachaikitti

Update: Full press release here. For those who aren't familiar with my approximate policy, I typically publish press releases as press releases, thinking of them pretty much as op-eds.

You can see the approximate platform, I suppose.

Update 2: Oddly, I'm hearing that the CalSERVE website is being updated, but I'm not seeing it when I visit.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/11/2008 10:40:00 PM #
Comments (17)
. . .

There are two op-eds on union negotiations. One is a reminder that union folks are communists.
These unnoticed workers also survive, not because of capitalistic gains, but from the true love of their children and family for whom they work so very hard through multiple jobs with low pay and in a market in which it has become increasingly more costly to live.
Working hard to make more money to do stuff with that money? Isn't that exactly what "capitalistic gains" describes?

The other is a reminder that union folks can't be trusted.
The link between student fees and employee wages, however, is tenuous. Research has found that hospital revenues, not student fees, fund almost 75 percent of UC workers' wages. Only 8.6 percent comes from state resources-meaning that the UC cannot blame the state's budget crisis, either.
Somehow, magically, this breakdown isn't subject to change even when wages change, I guess, because there's nothing fungible about money.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/11/2008 10:23:00 PM #
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. . .

Gabe Weiner is taking advantage of the ASUC Elected Officials Blog to target Roxanne Winston's support for the tree sitter amnesty thing. I'm loving it, and hope that the blog becomes a place for ASUC Senators to argue and shout at each other, but I'm expecting that folks are going to clamp down on it before it gets too interesting, because actual conflict between elected officials is immensely troublesome for the ASUC establishment.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/11/2008 05:55:00 PM #
Comments (3)
. . .

A bunch of folks from Tikvah went last week to complain to the Senate about the SJP protest and the yelling towards their counterprotest. (I mentioned it here)

Jon Poullard, quick to condemn IFAW, quick to call for buying SJP a new sign because people might have felt uncomfortable, decided that this time the issue was the importance of having a dialogue between the two groups.
Regarding hate speech and what that really meant, and what hate was, he would ask if it was hateful to say "fuck Israel"? And it probably was. Was it hateful to say "Palestinian terror"? Probably. There were always two sides to every single story around dialogue.
Really? Either of those would require a pretty low standard for hate speech to be included if you want to talk about restricting it. Still, equating the two seems downright odd. What the Tikvah folks were complaining about was the actual anti-Semitism from the dude shouting something like "They think they're the chosen people. They think they can do whatever they want. They think they can kill people whenever they want." I don't think that wasn't an SJP dude, in any case. I thought it was Chris, the guy who always screams and swears about cell phones and the like.

In other news, in the discussion about funding the From All Perspectives Show:
Mr. Weiner said he would like to note for the record that during the committee of the whole, Sen. Winston yelled out "Fuck you" to him as well as other Senators. Mr. Weiner said he would encourage the Senator, in the future, to avoid such behavior. It was disrespectful.

Ms. Winston said it was "Black Wednesday." They had a wonderful event. A lot of students came out to show solidarity. She was misquoted twice that evening. She has compared events and accidentally passed gas that day.
I'm not going to ask, and neither should you. (The comparing events was in reference to the other alleged misquote) I assume the second misquote would be Gabe's comment. It seems like that would be something difficult to gloss over, since this discussion occurred right after the committee of the whole meeting. Maybe other Senators want to talk, but I doubt it. In response, I think people should randomly accuse each other of profanity during committee of the whole meetings until they stop hiding these discussions from the public by entering committee of the whole.
Mr. Seaty said he felt it was problematic when they throw around the term "multiculturalism" but didn't take the time to think which students were actively engaging in increasing the multicultural activity on campus, and what it meant to the bridges community when From All Perspectives would happen on Senior Weekend. Students who will come to campus won't be able to participate in From All Perspectives because they'll be engaging in Senior Weekend. It didn't make sense to talk about diversity when this event was not diverse at all. Fucking people were acting like fucking monkeys.
Well then. I, of course, support profanity in the Senate, but I dunno how widespread that view is.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/11/2008 03:45:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Coming soon

Next week, there's some stuff about stuff in the ASUC stuff.

One bill includes whining about Fresh's inability to get supplies from folks, as if it's a human rights "crisis." (It's not. He can get down, after all)
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the ASUC recognizes that complete and total amnesty for Fresh and those who tried to provide him with food and water is a responsible and humane resolution to the current crisis on campus
Responsible? No consequences for occupying university space at all? Is that really all that reasonable?

It's basically a big list of "give him whatever the hell he wants, including a Special Order in the Senate" statements. The weak statement at the end that his actions aren't endorsed or condoned is hardly meaningful in the wake of the rest of the bill.

Other stuff includes keeping certain polling location changes and "Open Textbooks are GOOD!"

There's also an unintentionally comical "Bill In Support of Solidarity with Victims of College Campus Shootings and a Safer Campus."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/11/2008 02:24:00 PM #
Comments (8)
. . .
Hey, an opinion

In an unusual move, the Daily Cal actually badmouths someone:
It's possible the senators sponsoring the new bill misunderstood voters' rejection of last year's referendum, which would have benefited select other student performance groups as well as SUPERB. Perhaps they really are confused enough to think our problem then was with Cal Band and not favoritism, that a fee hike benefiting only SUPERB is somehow different.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/11/2008 09:23:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .

Is it just me, or does this story, titled "New Students Can Search For Best-Match Roommate," exclusively talk about continuing (i.e. not new) students?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/11/2008 09:20:00 AM #
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. . .
Monday, March 10, 2008

Speaking of hoo rides, I noticed a post from three years ago that seems suddenly appropriate. It also looks like we're headed for a repeat.

More importantly, though, have I seriously been blogging that long? Thank God it's almost over. I guess it you're the Daily Cal, though, three years may as well be forever.

By the way, if the spot by the Heller Lounge is the "former" location for the OCF, has it been moved? I don't use it, so I haven't actually checked.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/10/2008 10:55:00 PM #
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. . .
No opposition here

Did you know that there's nobody on campus who opposes the newest fee hike idea for the ASUC? Or, at least, the Daily Cal didn't feel it worthwhile to find any such person for their article.
Student Action Senator Scott Silver, who sponsored the bill, said it is important for the fee increase to pass, not only for SUPERB to have sufficient funds, but also for other campus groups to have access to more funding.

Silver said he believes the fee increase is a "creative" way to raise funds for student groups.
Well, yes, I guess it is creative, in the sense of avoiding the usual. The normal approach for raising funds for student groups would to just pass a general fee increase which the Senate could budget to student groups. Unfortunately, if we do that, Scott Silver's pet cause wouldn't get enough of that money. Hence, a creative (i.e. less effective) method is necessary, which will include a fee increase about twice as big.
SUPERB general manager Sean Mazur said that, after years of continued budget cuts to the group, a stable budget would help the group establish themselves as a campus fixture and provide more opportunities for students to get together.

"I think that people show up, which means there is a demand ... and with more money we can do bigger and better things and attract more students to our events," he said.
So tap that demand! Normally, if you have a demand but not enough money, you just charge more. In the ASUC, though, you try to get 20% or so of students to vote for a fee increase they don't actually have to pay for in order to subsidize you.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/10/2008 07:11:00 AM #
Comments (3)
. . .
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Says hoo?

A little birdie pointed me to this Facebook group:
Yeah. Good luck with that.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/09/2008 10:02:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Oh, no! Elections

So ASUC elections are approaching at the fast rate of one day per day. An average dude who uses the Daily Cal for information on student government will have very little to use in figuring out who to vote for. The Daily Cal has done a piss-poor job in publicizing the conflicts in the ASUC, which is part of the reason it's been so boring this year. I would think that covering the petty, pointless squabbles in the ASUC would generate a shitload of responses and boost readership. The Daily Cal no longer stirs up shit, and it's an inferior paper for it. Instead, they're busy covering the distant past, and seem to be absolutely terrified of saying something negative about anyone.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/09/2008 05:13:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Friday, March 07, 2008
Um... no

If you accept the principles of animal rights activists, this editorial is nonsense.
The problem here, per usual, is not the cause but the conduct of those who have made it their business to show up at the houses of professors and researchers and harass their families. At UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, and here in Berkeley, activists' new tactic of choice is to bring the protest home, appearing late at night with bullhorns to scream at people and, on occasion, lob rocks at their windows.
If you have the balls to say that their cause is stupid and that their ideals are wrong (I do), then you can say that they shouldn't be engaging in this activity. But if you're too spineless to say that, you can't argue that they should believe in justice but not take any action to fight for it. Animals are (supposedly) being pointlessly tortured. Is being polite going to fix that? If anything, the protesters should be more violent.

The fact that they aren't all that violent is part of the reason I don't think they really believe in their cause. (It's the same reason I don't take the World Can't Wait folks seriously) I think they're just trying to feel good about themselves by fighting an easy fight.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/07/2008 02:13:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Just say it, if you have the conviction

We've all seen BAMN screeds before. Here's the latest. Sadly, Ronald Cruz (or the editor) sort of dances around an interesting issue:
The SAT and other standardized tests do not measure intellectual ability or potential. They do, however, stigmatize minority and poor students while giving an unfair advantage to white students and those from privileged backgrounds. Eliminating the SAT is necessary to protect meaningful gains in underrepresented student enrollment from the threat of right-wing lawsuits and demagoguery.
What is being said in that last line? Right-wing lawsuits? What lawsuit is avoided if the SAT is eliminated?

I guess what Cruz is saying is that any evidence that UC engages in illegal racial preferences must be destroyed, and the SAT might provide that evidence. I can't see any other coherent explanation for that line. Implicit, then, is that he doesn't believe that the bias of the SAT can be proven.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/07/2008 02:08:00 PM #
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. . .

Oops! It's not the Third World Liberation Front. It's the third world Liberation Front.

I didn't pay an inordinate amount of attention to the protest, but there was a lot of screaming, some signs demanding consideration of their heritage, and some signs saying "Fuck the UC Regents," so I can only assume their heritage involves screaming "Fuck you!" to people. And they need a special center to do it.

One speaker insisted that minorities would feel welcomed only if they had a place to hang out and talk about stuff. And, again, they need a special center to do that.

I don't know how begging the university (by saying "fuck you" to it) is supposed to make activism work. "Whose university? Our university" is just a stupid chant. It's the State of California's university. If the State walked away, there wouldn't be a university. If the protesters walked away, there are thousands eager to take their place. If they want to have a multicultural center they can control, they should make it themselves without begging the university.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/07/2008 09:50:00 AM #
Comments (4)
. . .
Thursday, March 06, 2008

Opinions differ on topic. Stop the presses!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/06/2008 06:00:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Judging from the number of people he's been introducing himself to, it seems clear that Christian Osmeña will be running for an executive position on the Student Action slate. I can say right now that it doesn't really matter which office he runs for or who he runs against, his willingness to challenge the "respect at the cost of open process" view that most ASUC folks take pretty much ensures my vote.

Have any other ASUC folks been introducing themselves a bit more than you might expect? If so, they're probably running, too, so randomly speculate!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/04/2008 01:57:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Oh, for fuck's sake

After getting their ass soundly beaten last year in their attempt to get a fee increase to fund them, SUPERB is putting forward yet another fee increase for the same reason. Whoopdie fucking doo. I was hoping I could relax for once, but nooooooooo. We're going to have to go through another election filled with "Fuck your fellow students, just charge them for your own personal benefit" op-eds like this one.

There's even a special inclusion of a graduate student division for entertainment that caters to grad students, since we aren't at all entertained by the same things as undergrads.

The amount will be $4.50 a semester, or $9 a year. That's a burrito a semester!

One of the members of the oversight board is to be nominated by the Attorney General...?

Once again, although the bill says the money they currently get will be made available to other student groups, there's no death clause if they seek more funds, so SUPERB will be able to try to get more funds in the future once people forget about this.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/04/2008 01:37:00 PM #
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Monday, March 03, 2008

I don't see how one could determine the causality of this study. Maybe people who aren't in danger of dying tend to be healthier and thus more able to participate in community stuff.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/03/2008 06:46:00 PM #
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Students for Justice in Palestine had one of their "die-ins" over a bunch of killing in Israel/Palestine (it happens a lot, you see). Some thoughts:

A die-in is a nap in the sun. The corpses were pretty chatty for dead guys, and fidgeted a lot more than you might expect the dead to do. One fellow even tipped his wheelchair over.

After some pro-Israel folks held up a sign that read something like "Victims of Palestinian Terror," Snehal Shingavi (who wears Calvin Klein underwear, I discovered today) started one of his famous adjective-filled rages, including something to the effect of "How dare they use the deaths of Palestinian civilians to promote their propoganda"... in the middle of a protest using the deaths of Palestinian civilians to promote propoganda.

At some point, the Israeli sign got kicked or punched or something, and the police has to intervene. I heard a lot of whining to the police about how "somebody made a racist comment" and "they're disrespecting the commemoration of the dead" and other complaints which the police had no reason to care about.

Come on folks, this is too tame. Bring back the checkpoint!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/03/2008 02:39:00 PM #
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Sunday, March 02, 2008
Comedy opportunities abound!

ASUC elections are coming up, and candidate filing begins tomorrow and runs through next Friday (the 14th). Running for ASUC office is loads of fun. I recommend everyone do it and completely swamp the ASUC ballot with uninterested students. It's $5 an office (and $20 a party), but if you're not willing to invest in abstract metacomedy, you're a sad, sad person. (website here)

Remember, I got over a thousand votes for Student Advocate last year, running on a platform of "my last name is better!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/02/2008 08:55:00 PM #
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Oh, man... from a couple weeks back in the ASUC, GA prez Josh Daniels brags:
On Thursday, March 6, the GA will meet and have elections for 08-09. If anybody present was or will be a grad student on campus next year, he would urge them to run for a position. If people wanted to see what a civil election was done, they should attend and see how the GA did it. He would note, however, that the ASUC's election was much more exciting than the GA's, where people didn't even have fliers. He was encouraging candidates distribute them, but his guess was that no one would.
What makes the election civil? Well, apparently it's the fact that the rabble (i.e. graduate students at large) aren't involved, so nobody needs to campaign. Good job, guys! You do us proud! ("But real elections are too expensive!!!" whines Daniels)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 3/02/2008 08:27:00 PM #
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