. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Nap Time!!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Oh, come on

Seriously, guys. I know you're trying your best to make your newspaper interesting with terrible pun-type activities like this, but might I suggest that it would be better to make your newspaper interesting by actually performing interesting reporting? Perhaps you could investigate your stories a bit more rather than just regurgitate official statements or something.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/30/2008 02:11:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .

It looks like the Daily Cal was correct in that these results are the results the Judicial Council approved to be read into the Senate minutes tonight, at which point the election will be done. This means that the window to screw things up royally is closing fast. Get your last-second election-destroying drops in!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/30/2008 02:08:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Last week, during the Senate meeting, there was a bill to give $600 to a conference that reached 4 people. CalSERVE was supporting it, but didn't have the votes to pass it. So they would vote against an attempt to fill in the blank to change the value, so that Student Action would be in a position where they either had to agree to the ridiculously high amount or kill the bill.

But it gets better. Roxanne Winston, of CalSERVE, is late in the alphabet, so she goes towards the end in a roll call. Which means by the time it rolled around to her, she knew if it was going to fail or not. The bill was going to fail, so she voted "No" on it so that she could be on the prevailing side and make a motion to reconsider. This time, they would allow an amendment to take place.

And then, the amendment to fill in the blank ended up with the number $600.

This time, a few more Student Action people voted for the bill, but not enough to pass it, so again Winston voted "No," and again she made a motion to reconsider. And the opponents let her do it again, for some reason.

So they tried again with the blank, and ended up with $400.

Meanwhile, the supporters, including Winston, insisted that since Student Action was okay with $400, $500 must be a compromise. And the sheep just followed along with it, because nobody had suggested $200 that day. So Gabe Weiner suggested $200. It's a really silly discussion, and I recommend you take a look at it some time. Meanwhile, I'll explain something about filling the blank:

The purpose of filling the blank is to find the highest allocation that will pass. This is the mechanism of the compromise. But filling in the blank with a value requires a majority vote, while passing the bill requires a 14 Senators, so the blank-filling mechanism fails even at this. And so we see the Winston "vote no then reconsider" approach to find the highest amount that will pass.

This is yet another thing I've pointed out to Senators in the past, and the sensible approach (requiring the 14 votes to approve a value to fill in the blank) has been used in previous Senates. But then we'd miss out on all this theater.

Anyway, $400 eventually passed ($100 a person), but if the Senate had a sensible procedure under which folks would accept the possibility of not getting their way, there would have been no need for the pathetic performance our future president gave.

Then another bill came up, funded at $900, when people wanted it at $700. And then they did the same thing again, approving $800. And so it failed. But wait! A motion to reconsider!!! Yes, it ended up at $700, anyway. (Since everyone was voting based on their ridiculous strategies, I couldn't figure out which side was which on this one.)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/29/2008 07:53:00 PM #
Comments (5)
. . .
Final Next Week

Taylor Allbright asked that all bills be submitted by last week. They weren't, so we have enormous spending bills that will be discussed before next week's budget meeting, because people don't want to see money go to waste (i.e. be controlled by a different elected official).

Winnie Kuo scaled back her "Reports! Reports! and more Reports!" bill to offer one that doesn't have as many reports and only vaguely suggests that Senators should have some information to give to the future dudes.

Nadir Shams has another bill to create a committee to whine about research deals.

The following Senators sponsored a bill to spend $496.65 of student money on themselves to celebrate how awesome they are by having Senate stoles for graduation:

Nadir Shams
Shawn Jain
Gabe Weiner
Scott Silver
Christopher Wong

I would suggest that before demanding students fund ASUC Senator self-glorification, they should try to boost turnout so that the majority opinion is not, as usual, "not worth my time to vote."

Dave Rhoads sponsored an Igor Tregub bill to oppose Prop 98 and support Prop 99.

There's a bill to hire a new lawyer, and the name presented is _______________.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/29/2008 02:54:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

The Judicial Council certified the ASUC Election Results today. I don't actually know what those results are at the moment, since I don't know if anyone dropped.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/29/2008 10:24:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .
The power of Christ

Not only are these humans labeled as "aliens"-as if they weren't human-but they are also labeled criminals.
I can't imagine why. Normally you have to commit a crime to be labeled a criminal. It's not like they illegally crossed a border or anything.
The criminalization of people based on their immigration status must end. Migration is not illegal; it is a human right.
You see? Now that we've simply asserted that a country cannot make entry illegal, it isn't. I wonder if this works in other contexts. "Stealing is not illegal." Hey, my stuff!
Migration to this country has been taking place for 500 years, but people of color have always faced persecution, unlike white immigrants who have been allowed to call the U.S. home.
No white immigrant group ever faced persecution. Groups like the Irish and Italians were welcomed with open arms.
How can people who seek a better life be labeled as criminals when their only crime is having the courage to leave their homes to toil in a foreign land, receiving low wages from people who do not even value their back-breaking labor?
I'm glad you asked. Let me explain. You see, Congress passes a law that says...

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/29/2008 12:19:00 AM #
Comments (1)
. . .

Oh, man.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/29/2008 12:10:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Some survey somewhere

Patrick wins. Although...
Problems with the system were noted when the results of an informal survey of 10 percent of Boalt students showed a correlation between early registration times and a previous association with the campus, said Boalt Registrar Mary Kelleher-Jones.
Just some informal survey by some guy.

I like how the Daily Cal story makes no mention whatsoever of the role of the Nuts and Boalts folks.

By the way, this quote is golden:
She said complaints about the lack of random allocation in the past were rejected by the campus registrar because no one suspected something was wrong with the programming.
No one? Really? Then... uh... who was making the complaints?
"I do know there were complaints in the past but nothing was behind them," [administrator Mary Kelleher-Jones] said.
Nothing, eh?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/29/2008 12:06:00 AM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Friday, April 25, 2008

Oy. Just oy.
Out of Genocide, New Fruits Grow
Sure, the genocide was bad, but at least we got a giant pomegranate out of the deal!

I think the headline-writer ought to have paused a bit.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/25/2008 08:30:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Totally unfair

I already addressed Josh Daniels' nonsense, but I just wanted to point out that it takes a strange kind of dissonance to complain about how unfair graduate students have it in student government while also talking about graduate students voting in the Senate race. As a reminder: Graduate students do not pay a dime to the Senate, but have equal voting rights in it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/25/2008 05:10:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Apparently, Lower Sproul isn't called Lower Sproul, but is actually the Student Union Plaza. Please correct your brains.

From last week's minutes
Ms. Duong said she would also like to wish Sen. Jackson a "Happy Birthday," despite what some popular bloggers might think about birthdays in the Senate.
Insert laughter here.

Josh Daniels argued that, since the margin of failure for the SUPERB referendum was probably smaller than the margin by which graduate students opposed it, the Senate should have given graduate students money, and that would have caused it to pass. It's like he doesn't understand that if they made the fee larger, fewer undergraduates would vote for it. (Or, for that matter, that it's not really the Senate's job to tune referenda for the purpose of making them pass, since the Senate is ostensibly neutral on them)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/23/2008 11:23:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I was reading this op-ed about stuff and stuff, but one line made me curious about something:
Fermin Reygadas addresses rural people's need for clean drinking water in Mexico by working on the design and dissemination of the UV Tube, a technology that uses ultraviolet light to disinfect water.
If you grabbed Random Guy Onthestreet, and asked him what he thought of "using ultraviolet light to disinfect water" versus "irradiating water with ultraviolet rays to sterilize it," how different of answers do you think you'd get? I wish I had tons of money laying around to study something like this.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/22/2008 11:49:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Next Week on ASUC

It's a big one! I'm going to break out the underlining again!

A Resolution in Support of Senate Continuity: Winnie Kuo wants Senators to make reports for every project they did to be sent to next year's Senate training, as if any Senator gives a crap what her predecessors did.

A Bill in Support of Elections Information: This is a Christian Osmeña/Gabe Weiner bill sort of along the lines of what I said here, requiring election results to be released after the good faith filing deadline. It's got a lot of problems, though, one of which is that the time scale for releasing the information means that it may be released after tabulation, which seems to go against the point of the bill. Unless they make it clear that the point is to release it before tabulation, future Elections Councils may deliberately sit on it.

A RESOLUTION TO CHALLENGE FACULTY COMPLIANCE IN FULFILLING THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION EDUCATION REQUIREMENT: It turns out the ASUC is opposed to sexual harassment. They're angry because faculty members don't give a crap about "sexual harassment training" and want to say so.

A Resolution in Support of the May 1st Immigrant Rights Demonstrations: May Day is actually pretty crowded. I thought dock workers wanted to try to cripple the economy or something, too.

A Bill in Support of Effective Implementation of ASUC Rules and Regulations: Another Osmeña/Weiner bill, this one seeks to eliminate the position of Solicitor General, since the ASUC does such a piss-poor job of filling it, and nobody knows the difference between it and the Attorney General. I think it's a bad idea, though, because by appointing two people, there's a better chance that maybe one of them will actually do the job. (See last year, when Solicitor General Alex Kozak pretty much did the Attorney General's job)

A Bill in Support of the UC Student DOE Laboratory Oversight Commission: Rebecca Coleman wants to dedicate a whole section of the External Affairs Commission to whining about nuclear weapons.

An Amendment in Support of Student Publication Groups, Student Activity Groups and Student Initiated Service Groups: Yet another Osmeña/Weiner bill to institute limits on funding for Student Initiated Service Groups, as exist for Publications and Activity Groups.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/22/2008 11:34:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Oh, Jesus

ASUC officials said next year could also bring a more cohesive and productive senate, as the two parties share an equal amount of seats in the senate, according to the preliminary results.
That's how it works. Really. They then have a quote from Nadir Shams that says nothing of the sort:
"Sometimes in the senate it seems as if there's not as much debate and compromise to pass bills as there should be," said Independent Senator Nadir Shams. "Now with the clean split, senators of both parties will have to talk or else nothing can get done."
CalSERVE didn't have much trouble overpowering a puny Student Action delegation when they didn't even have the seven Senators they needed to block things. To suggest that CalSERVE will now compromise, rather than just call everyone who disagrees racist until Student Action Senators cave in because minorities are scary is pretty funny.
"I heard a candidate on Sproul talking about student safety and getting more lighting, which is important to me because I live on Northside and often get home very late," said senior Pheaross Graham.
You can hear a candidate (or six) on Sproul talking about that any given year. The question is whether you think that something will actually be accomplished or not.
On top of better organization, Jirachaikitti said the work CalSERVE officials have done this year, holding three of the four executive offices, helped motivate more students to vote for them.

"The experience of this year really showed students the potential of what the ASUC can be," Jirachaikitti said. "Students were able to see results and ... how we can make positive change in student government, and that was really reflected in the vote."
Results? Really? What visible results are we talking about?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/22/2008 10:31:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Monday, April 21, 2008
Not applicable

I took a survey on the Class Pass. One of the questions was "How satisfied are you with the Class Pass program?" There were the five usual answers, and then "Don't ride on AC Transit." Given that the question asks about the Class Pass program as a whole, it seems that those who don't ride AC Transit should still answer how satisfied they are with shelling out the money for no benefit. What an unsubtle attempt to exclude the inconvenient answers from the survey.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/21/2008 06:15:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

The drop deadline for ASUC elections is this Friday at 8 pm.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/21/2008 06:14:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
I can't stop laughing

Link goes here. For those of you who haven't been following, the state wants to spray some stuff in various areas including here to kill off a bunch of moths so they don't eat crops. The city governments of the folks getting sprayed are all pissy about it.

I find the discussion hilarious. Decade after decade, the prevailing forces here have insisted that everyone defer to the government because government knows best, and you should sacrifice for the greater good, and government should serve as God for all people. Unless, of course, the government does something they don't like, at which point it's up to "the people" to rebel against the government. But these rebellions should only take place when "the people" agree with the prevailing political forces in Berkeley. Otherwise, they're just being selfish or evil.

So I can't help but laugh when all of a sudden their worship of government as God backfires when God takes orders from other people. Come on, guys. Quit complaining. Sacrifice for the greater good. The government was duly elected, after all... who are you to complain?

Come join us in libertarianville, where we actually have a philosophical basis for distrusting government beyond "this time they're doing something we don't like."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/21/2008 07:41:00 AM #
Comments (1)
. . .

Says Danielle Duong:
The passing of this resolution would be extremely symbolic.
This is supposed to be a positive comment.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/21/2008 12:52:00 AM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Caption Contest!


posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/21/2008 12:48:00 AM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Friday, April 18, 2008
Air ball

"Know what you're doing" is not useful advice to the ASUC. They never know what they're doing, and won't even if you ask them to, because very few people who are around this year will be around next year. The question the Daily Cal ought to be asking is whether we need a tabulation meeting at all.

Even in the context of a Judicial Council which declares that the Freedom of Information right does not prohibit the ASUC from deliberately withholding information from its members, there's no reason why the ASUC can't change the By-Laws to eliminate the necessity of a tabulation. They can just release the voter information (after the good faith deadline has passed, if the major parties are afraid of being held to account for their campaign violations) and let the candidates figure it out from there. There is no mystical process that takes place in tabulation that can't be automated. A specific algorithm is followed, and following that algorithm in a big room is no more public than allowing folks to follow it at home.

What's the real benefit to filling a room beyond capacity and creating fire hazards so that the Elections Council can engage in a bit of theater ("Oh, look, the results are coming... BEHOLD!") to allow one side to deafeningly scream in triumph right at the face of the other that breaks into tears? Comedy? Sure, but humiliating ASUC candidates for my amusement hardly seems like a traditional goal. Transparency? The ASUC abandoned transparency long ago. At the end of the day, all we have is the Elections Council's word that the voter file they use is the right one. That isn't any more convincing when it takes place in a filled room. If they were really concerned about transparency, party representatives would watch as the IT dudes handed the vote information CD to the Elections Council, and then follow it to tabulation. In reality, they'd have to watch as the CD was created. And even with this setup (which is required by the By-Laws but more or less ignored), there's no need for a tabulation meeting, because the party representatives will have to continue to watch to make sure the correct vote file is made official.

I blame "that's the way we've always done it"ism. It's tough to break out of. When party signatories were dropping candidates before tabulation when there was absolutely no reason to do so (and, in fact, a possibility of a drawback), they're doing it because they've always done it. It seems especially odd that this is such a strong force, though, since turnover is high.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/18/2008 08:16:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

Is it just me, or is there nothing in this article that justifies the headline? I see a 7.4% fee increase being considered, not a 45% one. The giant number comes from some study somewhere.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/18/2008 02:27:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Spinning spun

Marcella Sadlowski knows comedy.
Michael Schuck, a former student who withdrew from in protest of UC's misguided policies, climbed a tree near Wheeler Hall in early March to raise awareness. UCPD's response was to violate the Geneva Conventions by denying food and water to a peaceful protester.
UC has tried to spin the truth about UCPD behavior at the grove.
Sadlowski, of course, is above trying to spin the truth.
The overwhelming majority of the citizens of Berkeley support the treesit.
UCPD serves and protects not the people, but the imperial policies of the UC Regents.
Bwahahaha! I wonder how proud the Emperor of the Regents is of his domain.
The regents' armed militia is anything but neutral when it comes to protest and resistance.
No spin, right? It's not "The police are opposed to crime." That's not the correct way to describe what's going on.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/18/2008 12:01:00 AM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Thursday, April 17, 2008
That's strange

Even though it's a week after ASUC elections, there's still campaign chalk on the ground. I always thought chalk only lasts one day. I can only conclude that people are still chalking... but why?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/17/2008 05:41:00 PM #
Comments (3)
. . .

I'm hearing that Roxanne Winston grabbed a copy of the Squelch which depicts a water gun-wielding assassin plotting the death of President Witch, and asked "Is this supposed to be me?"

Remember that the Squelch has been out since before the results of the election were known. Perhaps she thinks she's really that important.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/17/2008 04:52:00 PM #
Comments (3)
. . .
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I don't know generally applicable or accurate the conclusions drawn here are, but some folks may find them interesting.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/16/2008 10:08:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .

Yaman reports that the new file is posted, but results haven't changed.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/16/2008 07:15:00 PM #
Comments (5)
. . .
Even more on voter 99999

Voter 99999 was, I'm told, a paper ballot that was added by the tech folks during tabulation. It turns out the person had also voted online, so it was invalidated.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/16/2008 06:39:00 PM #
Comments (3)
. . .

I'm told a corrected vote file will be released shortly. I'll probably be busy when it is released, so whoever learns anything awesome can post it here.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/16/2008 02:15:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .
More on voter 99999

Voter 99999 was entered manually into the voting file, I believe we have confirmed. I also checked and confirmed that that voter did not cast a vote for the referendum, which all voters were required to do.

It was a CalSERVE vote, for the most part. I don't think I'd go screaming "fraud" just yet because it seems like such a stupid effort. After all, one vote wouldn't make much of a difference.

It does suggest, however, that the voter file may have been tampered with. I just checked to make sure, and there was no extra voter like that last year.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/16/2008 01:46:00 PM #
Comments (8)
. . .
Election concerns

There are a bunch of concerns being raised in the comments on this post. I think many are just artifacts of the way the vote system works, as they have existed in the past, too. The voter turnout number of 10459 comes from a file I trust, which came directly from the voting program, as confirmed by the referendum vote file. That is, there were 10459 votes cast either "Yes," "No," or "Abstain" for the referendum, and all voters had to make one of those choices.

I've contacted the Elections Council for the original vote file, but haven't heard back.

The number of lines in the vote file may not need to line up with the number of votes cast if some folks only cast a vote for the referendum. A cursory glance doesn't notice any blank rows, but I don't have my usual computer with me to check that. If there aren't any blank rows, than it's likely that those voters who voted for no candidate offices don't have rows in the voter file. This lines up with last year's data dump file (a different file that isn't available on the website right now, but is similar to the referendum file available) that had one line for every ranking for every candidate by each voter. If a voter didn't rank any candidates, they'd have no lines in that file, and the voter file wouldn't include them.

Voter number 99999 certainly raises eyebrows. It voted CalSERVE, if you're interested.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/16/2008 01:31:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
More elections thoughts

The voter file that's on the website does not include votes for candidates who dropped. Instead of doing the simple thing (dropping the candidates in the tabulation program), it appears the Elections Council tried to entirely scrub the voter file of any votes for those dropped candidates (so they show up as having 0 votes). The exact method they used is not clear, though a global find-and-replace seems plausible, because voter ID numbers are missing pieces that are equal to the candidate numbers of those who dropped. Given the way the Elections Council has been running things, though, I'm suspicious of how effective that method was, especially syntactically in relation to commas. I haven't been able to find consecutive commas (which seem likely if the voter number alone was removed), but there are hanging commas on the ends of the Senate preference list. Similarly, though DAAP candidate Vanessa Gathi was absent (dropped? Or not on the ballot?), her number was still present in other candidate numbers which are present. I'll try to check with Kozak and see if I can get the original version.

SQUELCH! did worse than last year, failing to quota their candidate.

9900 people voted for Senator, putting quota at 472.4 and 20th place at 347.8. Turnout for every office but Student Advocate is up from last year, even though overall turnout is down (probably because there were fewer referenda).

I've tried a few drop combinations without really changing the results. To increase their share in the Senate, a party would probably have to drop their highest vote-getters (and thus potential winners), and I'm not sure either party could handle the morale problems that might arise from such a strategy.

As for why Student Action went kerplop, I don't really know. Student Action gets votes by handing out favors from a position of power, and CalSERVE gets votes by calling everyone else a racist (which is easier from a position of less power), so I'm not sure how next year will go. Student Action has recovered from things like this before. I only hope they have the willingness to stand up to CalSERVE stonewalling when it comes to handing out money. If CalSERVE refuses to allow Student Action to reduce allocations to their pet causes, and Student Action doesn't have the balls to respond by refusing to vote for the original version, things might look grim.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/16/2008 07:21:00 AM #
Comments (16)
. . .
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Vote Counts

1st place vote counts (some may be off by a couple of votes because of how I got the information when candidates quotaed):

President (9032 votes):

Roxanne Winston: 3718
Curtis Lee: 3706
Frederick Taylor-Hochberg: 721
Ronald Cruz: 544
Ross Lingenfelder: 181
Johnathan Kim: 81
Joshua Hug: 81

(Between SA/CS:
Roxanne Winston: 4317
Curtis Lee: 4083

Executive Vice President (8652 votes):

Krystle Pasco: 4049
Grace Shen: 3277
Chad Kunert: 934
Christopher Page: 252
Johnathan Kim: 140

(Between SA/CS:
Krystle Pasco: 4377
Grace Shen: 3666

External Affairs Vice President (8422 votes):

Dionne Jirachaikitti: 4327
Lina Ochman: 2893
Joe Rothberg: 704
Johnathan Kim: 253
Matthew Vasquez: 245

(Between SA/CS:
Dionne Jirachaikitti: 4632
Lina Ochman: 3179

Academic Affairs Vice President (8525 votes):

Carlo De la Cruz: 4244
Christian Osmena: 3219
David Hollingsworth: 688
Arnaud-Victor Monteux: 214
Johnathan Kim: 160

(Between SA/CS:
Carlo De la Cruz: 4486
Christian Osmena: 3511

Student Advocate (5947 votes):

Matt DeMartini: 3230
Andy Morris: 1389
Johnathan Kim: 929
Peter Kapelanski: 289
Joshua Hug: 110

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 11:03:00 PM #
Comments (4)
. . .
Yay, information!

The vote information is up at the election website. Go crash their servers!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 10:59:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

Turnout this year was 10459, down slightly from last year's 10629. I don't have a good idea of where to get actual enrollment numbers (this year and last), though if anyone knows, feel free to say what they are.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 07:50:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .
Election thoughts

The results may be here. They may not be, and there may be many errors. Who knows.

Even if there are no errors, the parties are now going to sit down and run all kinds of permutations to get more seats, which means that the results are very likely to change.

Tabulation was hilarious. They didn't have the candidates file, and ended up only doing it with candidate numbers, which means that you could only tell who won based on the deafening screaming. The tabulation was over an hour late because they apparently didn't know what they were doing or something.

CalSERVE swept the executives, which was mildly surprising, since it seems like they should have been in a worse position than last year. Every race was a blowout aside from the one for President, which was fairly close.

The votes for the referendum were

Yes: 4458
No: 4570
Abstain: 1431

Which makes it a very close fail. Try again next year, SUPERB guys! (I'm sure they will)

CalSERVE did exceptionally well in the Senate, where they nabbed 8 seats for themselves, and also have the Co-op Movement seat, which may as well be included. That outnumbers Student Action at 8. BCR and SQUELCH! may provide a 10-member block to oppose the CalSERVE/Co-op/MSA block, also numbering 10, but Student Action always has more defectors than CalSERVE.

I believe that the drop dance that is sure to follow will benefit Student Action more than CalSERVE, as they seem to have had more total votes (judging by their position on the list of winners).

Kozak told me that he sent the vote file to Yaman, who hopefully will post it tonight. Kozak says he doesn't actually have it yet, and is waiting on the Elections Council Chair. With the way things have been going, we may not see the vote file for weeks.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 07:35:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .
Election Results

SUPERB Referendum: Fail

President: Roxanne Winston (CalSERVE)

Executive Vice President: Krystle Pasco (CalSERVE)

External Affairs Vice President: Dionne Jirachaikitti (CalSERVE)

Academic Affairs Vice President: Carlo De la Cruz (CalSERVE)

Student Advocate: Matt DeMartini (That guy)

Senators (in election order)

Saira Hussain (Independent)
Sheila Chen (UNITE Greek)
Will Smelko (UNITE Greek)
Sarah Cho (Student Action)
Tu Tran (APPLE Engineering)
Mary June Flores (CalSERVE)
John Moghtader (SQUELCH!)
Lyell Sakaue (CalSERVE)
Kifah Shah (CalSERVE)
Christina Oatfield (Co-op Movement)
Tara Raffi (Student Action)
Meghana Dhar (Student Action)
Obiamaka Ude (CalSERVE)
Yishi Zuo (Student Action)
Stephanie Yang (CalSERVE)
Edward Nahabet (Student Action)
Oscar Mairena (CalSERVE)
Claudia Rodriguez (CalSERVE)
Lisa Tran (CalSERVE)
Thomas Owens (Berkeley College Republicans)


Bradley Froehle (Independent)
Marcus Caimi (Student Action)
Yuna Shin (Student Action)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 07:24:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
ASUC Election Results

The results are:

Oh, right, not out yet.

I'm not really all that dedicated, nor am I of the opinion that a few hours really makes that much of a difference, so you probably won't see me liveblogging election results. Maybe someone else will. I'll try to post the results tonight, or point you to someone else who did so (Chris, most likely).

Feel free to announce winners and such in the comments, though. Feel free to announce false information, too.

Remember, though, that these results aren't final, and in the context of this morning's advisory opinion, there's a fair chance that they'll change once folks make informed strategic drops in the coming days.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 03:40:00 PM #
Comments (5)
. . .
Advisory Opinion

Kozak's advisory opinion came through. The answers are:

1) When elections end depends on context. In terms of voting, they end at the end of voting, but in terms of the "general process of selecting new representatives" they end when certified and read into the minutes.

2) Candidates can thus withdraw up to the time the results are read into the minutes. This means, by the way, that candidates can withdraw after the Judicial Council certifies the results.

As a result, if anyone drops out, a retabulation must occur, just as if someone was disqualified. This raises a serious feasibility problem, by the way: With enough candidates on board, one could delay final results an enormous length of time by dropping out after each tabulation, requiring a new tabulation. Does this new tabulation need to be done in a public venue, or does the existence of an algorithm allow the Elections Council to consider the results public once they release the vote files and a list of whoever has dropped?

The other consequence, not directly addressed but probably implicit, is that drops in the middle of tabulation will result in starting the whole thing over. But since people can drop after tabulation, there's no real point in doing the strategic drops on the fly. On the other hand, strategic dropping takes on a new dimension in time, where folks will want to wait to see who else drops in order to maximize their own victories.

3) Signatories can withdraw their candidates.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 10:41:00 AM #
Comments (2)
. . .
Existence reported, denied

Yes, probably unconstitutional. (Here's Volokh on the topic) But whenever animal rights activists try to defend their actions, it's a laugh.
Other UC campuses have seen similar incidents. In one, a UC Santa Cruz researcher's husband was injured after fighting off six masked protesters. A UCLA researcher stopped doing research on primates due to the activists.

However, [Christine Garcia] said the demonstrators are not violent against the faculty.

"The animal rights movement has not harmed any living being," she said. "The only thing that the animal rights activists have been involved in is speech, and then there is a fringe group that is involved in property damage."
Well, except for that guy. I love how the "only thing" they do is speech, and then they also do something else.

Someone find out where she lives and chalk "terrorist" on her sidewalk or something. It seems like a fun way to kill some time.
It is really sad, especially since the forefathers of the UC system, UC Berkeley, was founded on and has such a rich tradition and history of free speech.
Was it really? When Congress passed the Land Grant Act because they needed people who were better at growing things, building stuff, and killing people, were they really thinking about free speech first?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 12:19:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .
You missed the punchline

Way to neuter Christopher Edley's statement on John Yoo. The statement is here. Let's see what the Daily Cal quoted:
Assuming one believes as I do that Professor Yoo offered bad ideas and even worse advice during his government service, that judgment alone would not warrant dismissal or even a potentially chilling inquiry.
Yes, it does matter that Yoo was an adviser, but President Bush and his national security appointees were the deciders.
Those quotes make it seem like Edley is looking to come up with a rationale to keep Yoo, or that he can't be fired on a technicality. The actual money quote was more along the lines of
My sense is that the vast majority of legal academics with a view of the matter disagree with substantial portions of Professor Yoo's analyses, including a great many of his colleagues at Berkeley. If, however, this strong consensus were enough to fire or sanction someone, then academic freedom would be meaningless.
or maybe
One can oppose and even condemn an idea, but I do not believe that in a university we can fearfully refuse to look at it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 12:10:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .

Bwahaha! Victory!

I wonder what Bernardo S. Lopez thinks the Daily Cal should have done. The Elections Council couldn't exclude the piece because of equal protection. So Lopez thinks that, because something in one of the candidate statements was offensive, the Daily Cal should have refused to run the Voters' Guide in its entirety, denying students the opportunity to read about candidates and voting. All in the name of sensitivity for some idiot who claims to speak for an entire race.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 12:03:00 AM #
Comments (4)
. . .
Negative Occurence Rate Found

Imagine that...
A study in England in 2003 (conducted after the U.K. instituted a permanent ban of homosexuals from donating blood) showed that removing homosexuals permanently would decrease "the risk of HIV-infectious donations entering the blood supply in England by 500 percent" (Soldan et al, 2003).
By 500 percent, you say? So, if the original rate was, say 7 (with the appropriate unit to make it correct), removing homosexuals from donating blood would get a new rate of -28? "5 times lower" is a moderately annoying construction for the axiomatic mathematician, but I don't think you can interchange it with "decrease by 500%," can you?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/15/2008 12:01:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Monday, April 14, 2008

Despite rumors that, admittedly, I helped spread, vote tabulation will go ahead tomorrow as planned. I can't honestly recommend attending in good conscience, as CalSERVErs are screamers. And not just any screaming. It's the special frequency that bores into your soul and makes your brain hurt. Bring your earplugs.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/14/2008 06:24:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Saturday, April 12, 2008
You lose

This has to be some of the worst damage control I've ever seen. "My comments were ill-considered, so let me speak more clearly by emphasizing that yes, my comments were exactly what I meant, in that the activities of small-town folks aren't due to culture like they say, but due to bitterness. Also, small-town folks feel they aren't listened to."

Perhaps even more troubling is his suggestion that the government should serve the role of religion and family.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/12/2008 12:46:00 PM #
Comments (15)
. . .
Friday, April 11, 2008

I thought it wasn't official!!!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/11/2008 02:44:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Sorry, you're out of luck

Whine all you want, but after giving away a parking space to Code Pink, the city likely can no longer legally deny loud people a permit. In fact, they shouldn't even have to pay for their permit.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/11/2008 02:42:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

In an event I had no trouble predicting, the Daily Cal gave itself the Best of Berkeley Award for Best Blog.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/11/2008 02:40:00 PM #
Comments (5)
. . .
Are you high?

"Waaah... our voting system is too complicated for me!" says The Daily Cal.
Few of us can meet the expectations of the campus's election setup, which assumes-unlike any other ballot we'll ever cast in our lives-that voters can fairly evaluate more than 150 people at one time.
There are 113 candidates on the ballot if we add up every candidate in every office. That's double-counting those running for more than one office (sextuple-counting, in one case). For the math-challenged at The Daily Cal, remember that 113 is less than 150.
The majority of us respond to this impossible unwieldiness by not bothering to vote at all. Those who do tend to vote "straight ticket," picking a party and backing its entire slate.

Given that most students already vote by party, it makes sense to explore a new system-perhaps one of proportional representation-as a more straightforward alternative to the clunky version currently in use.
That's an awesome idea. Let's eliminate independents (who won 10% of the Senate positions) based on the unproven premise that most students vote by party (they actually vote by friendship, and then vote for the rest of the party if they're feeling generous).
Any political science major can confirm that "real-world" proportional representation systems tend to foster more parties, not fewer-so the intuitive fear for the survival of third-parties and independents might be unfounded.
More parties than what? Than a winner-take-all-by-district election? Because that isn't what happens in the ASUC elections. The current ASUC election system is actually quite conducive to results that are similar to proportional representation systems, except that those who win office aren't absolutely beholden to their parties.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/11/2008 12:26:00 AM #
Comments (3)
. . .
Thursday, April 10, 2008

Van Nguyen supports CalSERVE!

I've always found the press release method of giving out information to be amusing.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/10/2008 04:12:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

SOME GUY (meh) tells me that Philip Kim resigned this morning. He was going to be removed anyway. Shawn Jain should take his place, which gives CalSERVE 7 senators, enough to block any financial bill, though they also typically have Nadir Shams on their side.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/10/2008 01:58:00 PM #
Comments (13)
. . .

Guess what happened at an election debate:

Viewpoints differed.

By the way, while talking to one of the promoters earlier that day, she suggested that the Socialist Party dude was a less obscure candidate than Ron Paul. That doesn't seem right.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/10/2008 09:14:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Which ASUC candidate hates America the most?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/09/2008 07:08:00 PM #
Comments (10)
. . .

Alex Kozak has filed a request for an advisory opinion to find out about:

1) When do elections end, and when can candidates withdraw in that context?

2) If candidates drop in the middle of tabulation, does the vote count algorithm start over?

3) Can signatories drop their candidates?

In the past, the answers to these questions have been "At tabulation, can't withdraw afterwards," "No, the algorithm doesn't restart," and "Yes." But the first two traditions do seem rather odd.

If the elections end tomorrow, in the sense that nobody can drop after them, then the advisory opinion won't make it in time for folks to know. Parties may want to consider doing the drops now, while they have a chance.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/09/2008 02:54:00 PM #
Comments (8)
. . .
Opinion posted

I've posted the advisory opinion in my case dealing with Freedom of Information here.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/09/2008 07:44:00 AM #
Comments (6)
. . .
You heard it in my comment box first

Some argument:
"What happens is if you're marked absent for the first roll call, you're marked absent for the entire meeting," he said. (But) that's not true because I was there for the entire meeting."
That's Philip Kim, arguing that he should be marked present and thus not be removed from office. But since the Constitution defines attendance, and includes being present for the first roll call as part of attendance, I don't really see his point. Is he saying he was there for the roll call and didn't say he was when his name was called? Or that he said he did say so and nobody recorded it?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/09/2008 01:29:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .

Hey, you're only five days late. Also:
While the full text of the referendum was included on the actual ballot, the voters' guide includes only a proponent's statement and an opponent's statement regarding the referendum.

The text of the referendum, as it appears on the ballot, states, "A $4.50 per semester mandatory student fee is proposed (beginning in Fall 2008 and continuing for 10 years, Fall and Spring semesters only, increasing $.30/semester every other year to account for inflation) to provide ASUC SUPERB with the financial means to increase the number and quality of films ... support graduate student entertainment, release funds for the ASUC Student Government to reallocate to undergraduate student groups and allocate one-third (1/3) of the fee for financial aid."
Um... dude... that's not the text of the referendum. That's the ballot question. The text of the referendum includes all the details, cost scales, committee makeup, etc. And what's that ellipsis doing in the middle?
Sean Mazur, general manager of SUPERB, said he was not asked to submit the full text version of the referendum to the council.

Instead, he was only asked to submit a 200-word pro-statement about the referendum and not the text of the referendum itself.
Of course he wasn't asked. Why would he be? Why would you even mention that he wasn't asked? The Senate put it on the ballot. Go ask them. "Jim, a guy standing on a street corner, said he was not asked to do the ASUC's job."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/09/2008 01:22:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Good tag

I was playing around with the Daily Cal website and discovered something even sillier than the fact that their search engine only allows you to search for writer name. (That's right... you can't even search headline titles)

They've started tagging their articles with various topics. What do you think happens when you click one of those tags? Do you get taken to a page with all the articles that have that tag? Ha! No, you get sent to the search page. Which only searches for author name.

That is, if you were checking out some article about commencement and you click the "commencement" tag, you get to search for articles written by "commencement." (There aren't any, by the way)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/09/2008 12:33:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Tuesday, April 08, 2008

So, my case came back. In a Mike Davis-head-exploding result, they decided that the vote files are, in fact, official information, but that the Constitution allows the By-Laws to specify delays which are then automatically considered "due," so the Elections Council can withhold the information. I think this interpretation completely destroys any semblance of a Freedom of Information Right, because it basically says "The information is available unless the Senate decides not to make it available through a By-Law." The whole point of a Freedom of Information Right is to prohibit ASUC officials from keeping information from ASUC members.

Oh, well.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/08/2008 11:13:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
On scripting

The UNITE GREEK party uses capital sigmas to represent the two capital E's in their name when chalking and so forth. I guess they do look a little similar, but it still looks like "Grssk" to me.

CalSERVE, for their part, does the "Cal" part of their name in that famous script. Don't they know that the university owns cursive? I'm surprised they've gotten away with it for so long.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/08/2008 09:17:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
More charges

Alex Kozak has filed will file a charge against CalSERVE for their website, which had "Titles for Identification Purposes Only" in a smaller font than the text it was attached to. I think I recall seeing this, though I'm not sure. In any case, if true, and if there's a screenshot, I assume CalSERVE will just settle for one censure, since it seems pretty straightforward.

Update: I didn't read as closely as I should have. He hasn't filed the charges yet. He plans on doing so tomorrow.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/08/2008 09:10:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

Senator Winnie Kuo tried to have Justin Chung (Elections Council Assistant Chair/Publicity Coordinator) penalized because of the Voters' Guide.

You see, Chung requested pictures to be black and white, but when people sent him colored pictures, he didn't grayscale them before putting them into the Voters' Guide. While he eventually fixed it, if you saw the guide online over the weekend, you would see some of the pictures in color, as I think some commenter mentioned earlier.

So Kuo wanted to yank $300 of his $1300 stipend as punishment, but the Judicial Council decided the allegations didn't justify doing so.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/08/2008 02:55:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .

You can go vote, if you feel like it.
For a description of each office and profiles of candidates running for each office, as well as the full text and pro and con arguments for each Proposition, we highly recommend that you refer to the official ASUC Elections VOTERS' GUIDE.
They link to the voters' guide which, in fact, does not have the full text for the proposition. Nor was the text on the ballot. As far as I know, there is no official announcement of the text of the referendum, unless you count the ability to piece it together from the minutes (while working in amendments, etc.).

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/08/2008 10:11:00 AM #
Comments (2)
. . .

The Daily Cal endorses SQUELCH! candidate Chad Kunert for EVP. Discuss.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/08/2008 12:01:00 AM #
Comments (14)
. . .
Monday, April 07, 2008
Joe Rothberg Ukulele songs

In case you missed Joe Rothberg's ukulele solos at the Daily Cal endorsement forum, I got the lyrics from him.

CalSERVE Ukulele Song:


Some of you think I am a perv,
at least I'm not a member of fucking CalSERVE

They use all the money on pork barrel spending,
then they accuse the Jews of money lending

Their colors are black & green,
when they're in the senate they're really fucking mean

Tryin' to sell you on real change
for an incumbent party, that is quite strange


Filibuster at every meeting
its the students that they are truly cheating

What HAVE you done in the past year?
At least I've spent my time drinking beers.


Student Action Ukulele Song:


Student Action, Student Action
They're full of tools, that's my reaction

Walk on to sproul, they follow you to class,
Student Action is just a pain in my ass.

Wasting Money on silly fliers,
When they say "done" I call them liars

Their candidates don't know shit
and when they lose elections they throw a fit


Their shirts all make them look like smurfs
and they treat campaign workers like a bunch of serfs

They run the same platform every year,
I'm almost done singing since I need another beer.


posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/07/2008 11:19:00 PM #
Comments (4)
. . .
You're mean!

You may have seen the anti-Student Action flyering this morning. Chris Page has pictures and partial rebuttals. If we were to guess who was responsible based on who had the most to gain, I think Student Action would have to be the offending party.

The Christian one is pretty funny, especially against a backdrop of the others. Looking at that, my first thought was "Wow, they couldn't find anything Christian hadn't accomplished? He must be doing great!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/07/2008 07:12:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

There are rumors about that ASUC Senator Philip Kim is being removed from the Senate for too many absences. It seems like something the Daily Cal should have reported last week when they would have known. I haven't heard anything about it, though.

Next in line is CalSERVE party signatory Shawn Jain.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/07/2008 07:09:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

Justin Chung, ASUC Elections Council Assistant Chair, is sending e-mails to candidates on behalf of, apparently, anyone who asks. He already sent out an e-mail for the Daily Cal endorsement forum, and today, he sent one out on behalf of the Free the UC Coalition.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/07/2008 07:06:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Performance Review: Everyone Else

I was doing a performance review for everyone, wasn't I? I forgot. And got kind of bored. Oh, well.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/06/2008 10:50:00 PM #
Comments (8)
. . .
Saturday, April 05, 2008

As I typically do, I'm publishing the list of "serious" SQUELCH! candidates:

Matt Guilhem - #119
Sarah Rothberg - #120
Ashlie Cloudt-Barrall - #136
Jessica Felber - #137
John Moghtader - #138

I don't know if you've seen them, but you can check out their campaign videos here and here. (My opinion: Matt's far funnier than John's)

I'm a bit torn about SQUELCH! this year. It feels like there are two sides to SQUELCH!. The first is the SQUELCH! we know and love (or hate) that shares a lot of staff with the Squelch magazine and is... well... funny. Or at least not humorless. I include most of the SQUELCH! senators from the past few years (Andy Ratto (whoops, my bad... never a senator, but still included in the list for obvious reasons), Ben Narodick, David Wasserman) and the executive candidates in this group, which I continue to support because they tend to stay out of stupid international political wars and try to boost student group funding while showing respect to the student body. The candidates for this side are Matt Guilhem and Sarah Rothberg, I believe.

The other side is embodied by Gabe Weiner. Some people may suspect that Gabe has somewhat strong feelings about Israel. That Israel bill sort of represents how he diverges from the old school SQUELCH! folks, in that he's willing to dive into these stupid, meaningless discussions. So while Weiner was willing to challenge the stupidity of the folks in power, he wasn't willing to avoid getting into it himself. Jessica Felber and John Moghtader seem to be more in this vein, and I'm really hesitant to support them. They do seem to be more effective at getting elected, though that's sort of a minus for much of funny SQUELCH!'s base.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/05/2008 07:46:00 PM #
Comments (20)
. . .
Friday, April 04, 2008
Endorsement Forum After Action Report

So, some notes from the Daily Cal Endorsement Forum.

I sort of blew off and bombed my speech, because by the time it rolled around, I was far more interested in my own theatrical projects, and everything to be said about the SUPERB fee has long been said. The Daily Cal has already come out against it, but if they base their decision on the endorsement forum alone, they may very well endorse the fee.

Student Action EVP candidate Grace Shen does not know what a closed session is. In response to a question about when the ASUC Senate should go into closed session, she argued that it should strike a balance between efficiency and letting students get their voices heard. And then, after the closed session, the Senate should explain exactly what was said there.

I can only assume she thought the reference to "closed session" was actually a reference to "committee of the whole." Because a closed session seems kind of pointless if you then say what was said there. The correct answer to the question was "whenever the Constitution says so."

DAAP presidential candidate Ronald Cruz wanted to increase funding for the Office of the President at the cost of student groups, because student groups don't accomplish real change. We need a strongman like Ronald Cruz. This came after one of the joke candidates said "No, don't cut the President's budget, I want to spend that money on my own goals."

I hesitate to talk about BEARS-United candidate John Kim, since I do have my fingerprints on his candidacy and I don't like talking about what I do, but Kim came up with his platform and comments on his own, so I think I'm okay talking about it.

After several of his joke platforms, real candidates got up and gave almost identical answers, which was sort of disturbing. However, his best comment came during the Student Advocate statements, when he said something to the effect of:

"Since there is no CalSERVE or Student Action candidate up here, you can be pretty sure that this is the only important office."

I thought it went well for my parties, though I'm hardly a fair judge.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/04/2008 07:24:00 PM #
Comments (20)
. . .
Today's rumor

Today's rumor comes from Christian Osmeña himself, who reports that he was asked "Is it true you do cocaine in back rooms?"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/04/2008 03:00:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Whee v.2

Voters Guide is up (PDF).

The text of the referendum isn't even in the Voters' Guide, which is yet another violation of the By-Laws. It probably won't be on the ballot, either. Here's hoping they at least put it up on the elections website.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/04/2008 02:44:00 AM #
Comments (1)
. . .

So, SUPERB has finally realized they can't actually campaign, and has pretended that they aren't campaigning by changing this page to refer to the third person. Be sure to check out the comment by "Amy." We can rest easy with the understanding that she's probably a SUPERB plant, rather than an idiot who actually thinks that this vote will "get all this stuff back."

The comments on this page go into discussion of what democracy is, and how all should sacrifice for the greater good of entertainment shows, just like they should sacrifice for the greater good of the environment. That's a totally reasonable comparison.

Someone points out that last year's referendum lost by a 2:1 margin, and "Publius" (not pretentious at all!) says "Check your facts rather than quoting incorrect statistics. The vote barely missed its mark only failiing by a margin of 2:3." That's yet another liar for SUPERB. Let's ignore whether failing by a margin 2:3 is "barely missing the mark." The actual vote count was 3033 yes, 5534 no, or 35% of voters saying yes. Is 35% closer to 33% (1:2) or 40% (2:3)?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/04/2008 02:36:00 AM #
Comments (3)
. . .
A follows B

The implication is clear: The way to get a better basketball team is by giving cash to players and sexually harassing folks. But those things have serious costs. That's why we need to "find a balance between running a clean program and running a winning one."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/04/2008 02:23:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .

So, a SUPERB Op-Ed.

It's better than last year's, at least. Eugene Chow and Sean Mazur recognize that they're begging, rather than claiming their due.
It was impossible to distinguish what a "no" vote meant in last year's referendum because it was a large omnibus bill. People might have supported SUPERB but not approved of funding for Cal Band and UC Jazz or vice versa.
Yeah. That was the problem. So why no Cal Band or UC Jazz referendum this year? You know... just to clear things up?
SUPERB is not more important to campus than other student groups, nor has is it ever been above participating in the budgeting process that other ASUC funded groups use.
I suppose that's technically true. While they would like to be above the budgeting process, their attempt to make it so failed last year, so they still have to participate.
SUPERB is the only group offering its type of services and entertainment and therefore it incurs costs that no other student groups have.
Other groups, however, are indistinguishable from each other. Sure, they have different names and different causes and different functions, but...
SUPERB's events are on a much larger scale than any other group funded by the ASUC and is one of the few groups designed to reach out to every single student on campus.
Unless you don't like our particular concept of entertainment (concerts, etc.)
Among other UCs (not including the Merced and Santa Cruz campuses, which do not have programming boards of this nature), Berkeley has the lowest budget allotted to off-campus entertainment.
Well, yes, if you exclude the ones which spend less, we spend the least. While low spending might be a cause for pride in some circles, here it is to be considered a serious flaw.
This referendum directly benefits all students as it will free up over $100,000 to reallocate to other ASUC groups. Given the ever-growing number of student groups and a stagnant pool of financial resources, this referendum greatly increases the pool of money available to support student groups. This fact alone should encourage all members of any ASUC-funded student group to vote for this referendum.
Unless, of course, we go and get more funding, which we can do, because we didn't feel like including a clause preventing it. You see, if you want more funding for student groups, the only way to get it is to give SUPERB money. Giving the ASUC more money to spend on student groups directly is too complicated and doesn't recognize the most important thing: SUPERB wants money.
SUPERB has consistently proven its worth by entertaining roughly 24,000 people every year.
This is a lie, and Eugene told me that it was a lie when I called him on it. His completely baseless estimate he gave to make himself look good was 14,000 to 18,000, so it's probably even lower than that.
Vote yes on the SUPERB Entertainment Fee: For the price of one movie ticket, SUPERB will be able to offer even better entertainment at even lower prices, more events, free up over $100,000 for your student group to receive and increase its ability to offer discounted technical services.
If we're doing the per person count (one movie ticket) we really should be doing the per person count of these other things (free up over $3 for student groups!). Otherwise, it's really the price of 34,000 movie tickets.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/04/2008 02:22:00 AM #
Comments (4)
. . .
Consumption for peace


posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/04/2008 02:20:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .

I didn't see that coming:
Despite elections season partisanship, former president Manuel Buenrostro said the president must rise above party politics to achieve success.

"To get things done, I really tried to avoid party politics," Buenrostro said. "A successful president needs to be someone who is willing to listen to students and people who disagree with them."
For those of you who missed it, Manny was the one who issued an executive order declaring his party the winner of an election and declaring an entire branch of government invalid.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/04/2008 01:57:00 AM #
Comments (8)
. . .
Thursday, April 03, 2008

Let's see...
You're probably itching to know the identity of the surprise guests, but much as we'd love to spill, it would be downright unkind to reveal the details.
says a newspaper. (If you are itching to know their identity, it's the Counting Crows) I see The Daily Cal is in the business of keeping secrets and not providing information to its readers.

I'll also note they declined to join me in requesting election results information from the ASUC because they wanted to cover the story. (You can bet they'll still publish that information if I do all the work to make it available) I shudder to think of how these so-called journalists will react when they need to make FOIA requests to get the story.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/03/2008 06:25:00 PM #
Comments (8)
. . .
We support child labor

DAAP uses child labor for their campaign. But it's not even the "pennies a day" child labor of Indonesia. They probably don't pay the kids anything and they pull them out of school. I guess that's the way to make the future brighter for them.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/03/2008 06:21:00 PM #
Comments (4)
. . .
We're on top of things

The SUPERB fee website now includes a link to the BEARS-UNITED facebook group... from years ago, before it was hijacked the first time. Those folks have nothing to do with today's BEARS-United.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/03/2008 08:50:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .

The Daily Cal has shifted its "profiles of candidates" approach to discussing offices. Now, after talking about the two major parties for each executive office, they just list the losers (third-parties) and pick one to say something about how being a third-party is good, but otherwise don't give them any chance to present their platform.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with the approach, though I'm curious about the reason for the decision.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/03/2008 08:38:00 AM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Oh, there we go

So, after leaving it blank, we finally get around to Rae Einerson's answer:
This doesn't preclude SUPBERB from simultaneously going through the same routes as other groups to attain funds

- I apparently forgot to answer this one the first time around..and that's because I was thinking of the best way to basically say. Trust us.. we said we wouldn't ask for more money and all we have is our word. Tear it apart, say what you will but that's the truth.
Their word doesn't mean anything, because they're graduating eventually. And it's absolute bullshit to say "all we have is our word." They also have the language of the referendum. They could've written in a provision to the referendum which prohibited them from receiving both this funding and further funding. And they know that it's possible because the Squelch magazine did exactly what they say they can't do last year when writing their referendum.

Given that they lied about this, what worth does their "word" have?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/01/2008 11:33:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Opposition publicity

In the time-honored Beetle Beat tradition, allow me to help publicize the advocacy sites of those trying to raise our fees.

First up is their blog. If you're curious as to "Why this, Why now," too bad, they haven't decided. While they've since corrected it, after I had to point it out through a proxy, they originally identified the "SQUELCH PARTY" as The Heuristic Squelch and let the link point to the magazine's website.

Also note how the proponents of the fee heavily use the word "we" to describe SUPERB's actions. Especially here. But seriously, SUPERB isn't campaigning. Nosir. That would be wrong. Who wants to take bets on the use of SUPERB's mailing list and space for campaign material?

Next up is their Facebook group, titled "SAVE ENTERTAINMENT." Remember, SUPERB = Entertainment. There is no entertainment outside of SUPERB. I especially like Rae Einerson's response to some questions. I can pretty much do a line-by-line. Heck, I can practically let them speak for themselves.
This has been tried before and failed:

- Yes there was a referendum last year that we were apart of but it was 12 dollars and probably asked too much from students. The money would have be split between superb, graduate assembly, cal jazz and many of the singing groups on campus. From a logistical stand point it was really hard to coordinate/rally all those groups and run an effective referendum. This year we decided to run it just with SUPERB because we still need the money and we figured people might be willing to give $4.50 instead of 12.
Fucking other groups. Getting in the way of OUR money.
This is an effort to disconnect SUPERB from other student groups that must struggle for funds

-We don't want to be disconnected from anybody and we are probably one of the most connected groups to other organizations. We provide sound for countless student groups but with the budget we get from the Senate we are unable to maintain our sound equipment. We also wish that nobody had to struggle for funds but this is the burden we bare going to public school in state that is struggling itself. Of course we think what we do is incredibly important but we also think that all the other students groups are incredibly important as well. It also takes a lot more money to provide the services we do. The costs of bands, movies, audio technology are constantly going up and we can not keep up with our current budget. It is not that we are more important but we are an integral part of student life and it cost a lot of money to do what we do.
It's not that we're more important, we're just more important.
This doesn't preclude SUPBERB from simultaneously going through the same routes as other groups to attain funds

Yep. That's the full extent of the response on that point. They've stopped even trying to justify keeping the ability to get even more money after they get this fee open.
This only exists as an initiative because certain SUPERB members have friends in the ASUC that lobby for them.

- This exist because SUPERB will disintegrate if our budget decreases anymore. SUPERB has friends in many places because we provide entertainment indiscriminately. There are people in the Senate who lobby for us but the truth is we obviously don't have enough people lobbying in our favor because otherwise our budget would be higher to begin with and we wouldn't need to reach out for extra funds.
Those Senators who sponsored the bill and voted to put it on the ballot? They don't exist. Any group could do it. Really. And no group ever has to reach out for extra funds. Except for us, of course, and our puny $100,000 budget.
We really appreciate that you care enough to ask and on a finally note all we want to do is entertain people. We would be doing the campus a major disservice if our events or services disappeared.
We're just that important.

Remember, Einerson brought us the awesome op-ed from last year, too.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/01/2008 10:08:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Let's go shopping

Student Action tried to adapt the sportsy "Let's go (two-syllable-team-name)" chant, but with "Student Action," instead. It hurt. A lot.


The one-man party I earlier identified as the "1000 year party" run by Joshua Hug is going by Ftyyar.byhf.awgvwfguihs.twnuctdsos. if The Daily Cal is to be believed, which is an awesome party name. I hope they have to say it at the Daily Cal Endorsement Forum (which is Friday at 5pm in 20 Barrows, by the way). Folks are allowed to use shortened versions of the name, and Hug says he's going by J Hug. Or really J HUG.

Nicknames are up at the election website.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/01/2008 09:25:00 PM #
Comments (12)
. . .

I said I wouldn't make predictions, but that was really for candidates. I'm just as wrong on propositions, (not always wrong, but 50% wrong, which is worse) but let's hear your ideas on the fee increase.

They realized that their "we're so awesome we don't have to do a whole lot" plan didn't quite go as they expected last year, so they're out campaigning in force, with flags and everything. All they need is an idiotic run for fee increases. Woooo! I don't see any reason it won't pass, but maybe we'll get lucky again.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/01/2008 09:22:00 PM #
Comments (5)
. . .
Yeah, I dunno

I have to say I'm in mild agreement with this dude about those "face" banners. I don't really care about the view, but I'm not sure what the point is. "Go to Cal... oh, wait, you're already here"?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/01/2008 09:06:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
No, I put those in for a reason

The only thing I'll mention about this op-ed is that I correctly identified UC Jazz Ensembles and UC Choral Ensembles as organization names when I sent the op-ed in, rather than as vague descriptions, as the editing seems to have done.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/01/2008 09:01:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .
Last last week, on ASUC-Drama

80 pages for the minutes!
Mr. Passah said the reason he was bringing all this up was because during this protest, students in Tikvah, another organization on campus, walked in front of SJP's sign, in front of 30 of them lying on the floor, and put up signs saying "Victims of Palestinian terrorism." Instead of staging their own, counter protest, they were actively hijacking SJP's protest to carry over Tikvah’s message. As a result of that action, passers-by approached him and asked what the posters were for. This was not exceptional, and there was an unwillingness by the counter protest to keep a reasonable distance from SJP's protest; and there have been a series of confrontations in recent weeks.
Oh, noes! SJP didn't have a "sign," they had a bunch of them, so I don't know which sign Passah's talking about, but if we go back to Islamofascism Awareness Week, when World Can't Wait took signs behind speakers trying to give a different message to the speech, I don't recall Passah throwing a fit. I guess the 'rules of civilized protest' or whatever he's arguing for only apply to causes he supports.

There was a bunch of whining about the Pilipino Cultural Night allocation, which was set to come from Carry Forward because allocating from Contingency would include a limit of $1500. Yes, the way they react to a limit on expenditures for these kinds of events is just to get the money from a source not for these kind of events.

Lisa Ang had this to say:
Putting $100,000 into investments was a very hefty sum. She understood why some Senators were looking far into the future. She discussed earlier with Sen. Patel about what tangible and concrete change she'd see in allocating $75,000 instead of $100,000. Ms. Ang said she really didn't get the response, which was just something like "more interest." But there were students in the room now, and this money would matter to them now, not in the future.
But if we can't spend it now, someone in the future will benefit! That's sort of the exact definition of "not looking far ahead into the future." I like how "something like 'more interest'" isn't a tangible or concrete change. "Yeah, something like more money. Pshh. Accounting mumbo jumbo." Andy Kelley later made a slightly more coherent argument that with the economy going down, investment was bad. After an attempt to change the allocation to coming from Contingency:
Mr. Galeon said amending the allocation from carryforward to Contingency was bs. The ASUC was giving priority to ASUC-initiated projects, and that wasn't fair.
Um... if you don't like the rules which set it up that way, change the rules. But those are the rules. Instead of arguing in particular, stand up and change the rules.

From Pacific Islanders at Cal
Ms. Samuelu said the Fi-Comm meeting on Monday was disheartening and hurtful. She made an impassioned plea and it clearly fell on deaf ears. People attempted to cut the group's funding further. The amount they got was offensive. She left there with her President and Co-Chair crying because they felt so hurt.
Haha. Hahaha. You offend me by not giving our group of 23 members $1500 to run an event! Other people want money? Screw them. We are superior! Anyone who thinks otherwise is a racist!
Ms. Samuelu said that on Monday, Senators asked how many students would be served, and Ms. Samuelu said this was for all 34,000 students.

Somewhere in the discussion, the number of Pacific Islanders at Cal (89) was cut to 23, the number "active in the community." (i.e. those who joined their club) See, if you don't show your loyalty, you just don't count. You lose your Pacific Islanderianism. After complaining about how folks only want to see Pacific Islanders in certain ways (athletics, etc.), they said that if you don't join them, you aren't a member of their race.

Overall, it looked like a meltdown. Awesome!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/01/2008 07:38:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Random comment

(reaching out to grab flier, but quickly pulling hand back) "April Fools!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/01/2008 02:14:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .

More elections stuff. One fellow who I knew from teaching came to me and started to talk to me. Because I know him, I thought I'd be nice and tell him he didn't need to waste his time, since he wasn't going to convince me to vote for his candidate. That didn't work. He insisted there were some really good platforms! (I've seen them all, at least three times)

Folks are still demanding that you vote "yes" on the Save SUPERB Entertainment Referendum. I didn't know such a referendum existed. If that is the actual name right now, Alex Kozak really dropped the ball. (Alex tells me that the official name is still "The SUPERB Entertainment Fee Referendum.") They certainly haven't made a case that they would actually disband if the referendum fails. The flyer I have says:
"Vote 'yes' on the Save SUPERB Entertainment Referendum and you could get:

(list of stuff)
You could get it. You probably won't, though. They actually listed a lot of stuff that happened in the past, but since costs are rising (as they keep reminding us), I don't see why we should expect it. Remember that the oversight board which is supposed to make sure they increase events is made up almost entirely of the same interest groups which brought us the referendum in the first place. They'll never actually cut the fee if SUPERB fails.
Budget cuts have made it nearly impossible to keep entertainment alive."
Well, they certainly don't think much of themselves. Not only would budget cuts end SUPERB (they won't, really, but still), SUPERB is entertainment itself. Can you imagine a world without SUPERB? That's a world without entertainment, apparently.
Do your part and vote yes.
Our part? Not only should we vote for it if we like SUPERB events and don't mind forcing everyone else to shoulder the cost, we are obligated to do it. We have a responsibility to vote the way SUPERB wants us to.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 4/01/2008 02:04:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

. . .