Berkeley is a pretty wild place news-wise: Just this past year we’ve seen a chancellor resign, a series of high profile sexual harassment cases and fiery protests on the heels of November’s national elections. Now that you’re set to join the ranks of UC Berkeley students, here’s a quick and dirty guide to the the major news of this semester so far.
Provocative Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos tries to make appearance on campus, and fails
Right-wing agitator Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley in early February, but the event was canceled amid a violent protest. He’s a loud voice in the alt-right movement that has gained traction since U.S. President Donald Trump took office. The protests made national headlines and prompted Trump to address the issue on Twitter.
The scheduled event was to be one of the last stops of Yiannopoulos’s bus tour, “Dangerous Faggot,” of college campuses this past year. After the February protest, Yiannopoulos faced outrage from across the political spectrum when comments he’d previously made condoning pedophilia surfaced. As a result, he resigned from his position at Breitbart, a highly conservative online media outlet.
Carol Christ appointed as UC Berkeley’s first female chancellor
Carol Christ, who currently serves as the campus’s interim executive vice chancellor and provost, was just confirmed as chancellor by the UC system’s governing body last week. Her appointment is a historical landmark, since Christ is the first woman to hold the position in UC Berkeley’s 149-year history. She will take over the position when Chancellor Nicholas Dirks officially steps down June 30.
UC Berkeley has been searching for a new chancellor since Dirks resigned in August 2016 following a tumultuous tenure. Dirks faced criticism for his administration’s handling of the campus’s structural deficit and several high profile sexual harassment cases.
City of Berkeley formally welcomes Jesse Arreguín, first Latino mayor, into office
Jesse Arreguín was technically sworn in as Berkeley’s first Latino mayor in December. He replaced his relatively moderate predecessor Tom Bates, who had been mayor for 14 years, and had endorsed Arreguín’s opponent. Some of Arreguín’s urgent priorities include alleviating continually rising housing prices and addressing the closure of the Berkeley branch of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.
Some fun facts: 1) Arreguín’s campaign was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, and 2) several other news media outlets erroneously reported that Arreguín is the youngest person elected as mayor in Berkeley’s history, The Daily Californian found that he in fact holds the title of second-youngest Berkeley mayor.
Sex misconduct investigations across UC system revealed
We learned in February that over the past three years, 124 University of California employees were found to have violated sexual misconduct policy.
For a bit of background, UC Berkeley’s administration has received flack in recent years for its handling of several high profile sexual harassment cases. Public backlash came to a head about a year ago, in March 2016, when the then-dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law Sujit Choudhry was sued for sexual harassment.
The slew of investigation documents were obtained by the Daily Cal through a Public Records Act request made after Choudhry’s case came to light. Browse a database of the investigations here.
Cal basketball coach Cuonzo Martin resigns; football coach Sonny Dykes is fired
2017 so far has been a struggle for Cal athletics. Cal men’s basketball head coach Cuonzo Martin resigned earlier this month to take a job at the University of Missouri. He is reportedly entering into a 7-year deal valued at over $21 million from University of Missouri. The Cal men’s basketball team recently concluded an underwhelming season: Martin resigned right after a first-round NIT loss.
In January, football coach Sonny Dykes was unexpectedly fired. Dykes had been around for a tumultuous four seasons. The new head coach, Justin Wilcox, hastily patched together a team of recruits for National Signing Day on Feb. 1.