UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Administrator Gets Slap on the Wrist for Inappropriate Relations

They say that it pays to know people in the right places, but I didn’t think they meant it quite¬†as literally as a recent scandal at Berkeley is proving. A senior administrator, Diane Leite, was recently demoted after a disciplinary investigation showed that she was giving her lover unfair and undeserved rewards.

A supervising manager at the school reported Leite and her lover, Jonathan Caniezo, a purchasing manager at Berkeley, after the manager noticed that Caniezo’s salary continued to increase for no apparent reason. In fact, between 2007 and 2010, Leite authorized five salary increases for Caniezo that increased his pay from $70,000 to $110,000. After the school heard about this and began an investigation, it was determined that Leite would be demoted to “Director of Research Development” and have her own annual salary reduced by $13,531. However, she will still be making $175,000 each year.

Despite the moral problems that someone might have with this situation, there is also the issue of financial problems that Berkeley University has been dealing with recently. For the past few years, Berkeley has been dealing with budget cuts and has had to increase tuition. Berkeley is already one of the most expensive public schools in the nation, but just last year, they approved a tuition increase that raised the amount of money that students pay each semester by almost $2,000 each year.

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University of California Bans Tobacco Products from All Campuses

eight cigarettes unlitFor students who attend any of the 10 different University of California schools, quitting smoking will soon become much easier. Why? Because the schools’ president, Mark Yudof, recently announced that all tobacco products will soon be banned from school campuses.

“As a national leader in healthcare and environmental practices, the University of California is ready to demonstrate leadership in reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke,” Yudof wrote in a letter. “Offering a smoke-free environment will contribute positively to the health and well-being of all U.C. students, faculty, staff, and our patients and visitors.”

There are not any known specifics concerning the ban yet, except that it will apply to everyone who is on a University of California campus. In addition to banning the products, advertisements and the sale of tobacco products will also no longer be allowed.

“This is a very important milestone in California,” said Colleen Stevens. Stevens is the chief of the tobacco control branch of the California Public Health Department. “In other states, most young people start smoking in their teens, but in California, that start date is getting older. This policy will help protect the next generation from suffering the horrible impacts of tobacco.”

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Racist Cupcakes Promote Discussion on UC Berkeley Campus

red velvet cupcakes with vanilla frostingAffirmative action is a policy that many institutions use to benefit underrepresented groups and is usually based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Many people see this as a good policy because it can, for example, help groups of student who do not attend college get a scholarship or some other form of aid.

However, when students at UC Berkeley heard that Governor Jerry Brown was going to sign an Affirmative Action-life bill, they were not so pleased about it. In order to make their opinions known, the students organized a satirical Increase Diversity Bake Sale. The pastries that were sold in the bake sale were price-adjusted, based on the race of the buyer. For example, white men would have to pay $2.00 for a cupcake, while Native Americans would pay only $0.25 for the same cupcake. Women also received a price break of $0.25 off.

“Just like the CA Senate Bills 185 and 387 the phone bank supports, we will be considering race, gender, ethnicity, national/geographical origin, and other relevant factors to ensure the equitable distribution of baked goods to our diverse student body,” the group announced on a Facebook post advertising the bake sale. They finished the announcement with this: “Hope to see you all there! If you don’t come, you’re a racist!”

The group claims that its actions are purely satirical. Sadly, some students do not find the bake sale at all humorous or entertaining.

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Foursquare Launches Universities 2.0 on Hundreds of College Campuses

Last year, the popular social media app foursquare announced plans to officially partner with more than 20 universities across the nation to help students explore their college campuses and learn about their school’s traditions. The program was a huge success and now than 10 million users joined in on the fun. Now foursquare is making the program even bigger and better with a new and improved version called Universities 2.0.

Universities 2.0 will have all of the fun features that the original foursquare for universities had, such as the ability to check in at various locations on campus, learn about traditions and folklore, and see what your friends thought about various things related to your campus. However, Universities 2.0 will have something that the original program did not have: badges. These badges will represent the schools on foursquare and also could be used on college campuses to advertise that the campus is a foursquare-friendly zone.

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Bike Rebellion Erupts at UC Berkeley

UC BerkeleyYou would think that an eco-aware campus like UC Berkeley would do everything it can to support its students who opt to use their bikes around campus. Instead, the college charges high fines on bike-related infractions and is issuing bikers many more citations.

Students at Berkeley recently swallowed steep tuition hikes, but they balked at $220 fines given to bikers. A number of students have joined the Facebook group BikeBusters and created a movement to protest the increased number of citations. The Los Angeles Times reports that between August and November, the campus police have issued 103 bike-related tickets, an increase of 41 percent since the prior year. Students are being penalized for riding through “dismount zones” where they are required to walk, and for locking bikes to railings. Many students protest that there are insufficient bike-racks.

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UC Berkeley to Cut 5 Sports Teams

Berkley RugbyIt has been announced that the University of California-Berkeley plans to save $4 million next year by cutting five sports teams. The elimination of the men’s rugby, men’s baseball, men’s and women’s gymnastics and women’s lacrosse teams was disclosed in a letter by Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, which was released to Berkeley students, faculty, staff and Cal supporters earlier this week.

“The senior administration working closely with Intercollegiate Athletics have concluded that we cannot sustain the level of excellence we expect of everything that we do at Cal and still maintain all of the Intercollegiate Athletic sports that we currently do,” he said in the letter.

While rugby will no longer be considered an intercollegiate sport by the department, the team, with its status as a club, will be able to compete both nationally and internationally. Though, according to the letter, a solid plan is not yet in place to follow through with this transition. Read the rest of this entry »


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