Dirks’ work far from done

CAMPUS ISSUES: Chancellor Nicholas Dirks must use his remaining months in office to improve the campus and address ongoing problems at UC Berkeley.

At the outset of what would devolve into a turbulent tenure, Dirks remarked on his appreciation for the University of California’s transparency: “I’ve never had transparency like this in my life,” he told The Daily Californian in 2013. Three long years later, Dirks announced in an Aug. 16 campuswide email
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Solitary confinement is detrimental to prisoners

STATE ISSUES: Solitary confinement is part of a systemic reluctance to treat prisoners humanely, but early release may be a step toward rehabilitative justice

David Maldonado graduated from UC Berkeley in May, but just eight years before, he was in prison. Stories like Maldonado’s are rare: The country’s justice system does not serve to nurture the people behind bars, leaving most prisoners acutely unprepared to reintegrate and contribute to society once their sentences conclude.
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Alameda’s ban on fracking may inspire other counties

BAY AREA AFFAIRS: Decision to ban fracking method of oil drilling by Alameda County is mostly symbolic but solidifies county’s stance on important environmental matters

Though Alameda County’s decision to ban fracking last month was largely symbolic, it represents a crucial step in a fight to rid California of a destructive oil drilling method that affects thousands of state residents.
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Dirks’ back door alienates students, restricts access

CAMPUS ISSUES: Recent construction of emergency exit near chancellor’s office for security reasons symbolizes closed-off nature of Dirks' administration

Last week, we learned of the most recent in a series of increasingly absurd missteps involving UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. This time, the outcry was in response to the decision to install a separate exit near Dirks’ California Hall office — ostensibly to avoid protesters.
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Current events must bring community together

NATIONAL ISSUES: Communities must not allow recent acts of violence abroad to cause division or additional hatred, but rather bond to ensure proper healing.

Over the last month, the UC Berkeley community has mourned the loss of two members of our community. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Tarishi Jain and Nicolas Leslie, both lost to senseless violence done in the name of terror.
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New payment policy disadvantages students

CAMPUS ISSUES: Mandating that students pay 20 percent of tuition prior to beginning of classes unfairly causes burden

A new campus policy that would require students to dole out 20 percent or more of their tuition and fees ahead of classes will disadvantage a significant portion of the student body — particularly those who do not have thousands of dollars at their disposal.
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Media outlets perpetuate racism in coverage

Last week, protests broke out across the United States over yet more senseless killings of innocent Black men. We’ve seen news coverage ranging from disrespectful to sloppy to supposedly objective. With news surrounding such a heavy and unjust topic, however, it’s become clear that even the most sterile reports perpetuate
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UC spending on publicity could be put to better use

This past year, documents came to light that showed UC Davis administration had spent nearly $200,000 in an attempt to  scrub the Internet of traces of an image that depicted a campus police officer using pepper spray on a seated protester in 2011. The reactions that followed communicated the general
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Crowdsourcing not efficient solution to budget crisis

After countless failed attempts by well-paid administrators to balance UC Berkeley’s budget, the campus has finally decided to ask the people for advice. Last week, campus announced that it would be launching a crowdsourcing website that would serve to collect ideas on how to raise its revenue from the campus
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State ensures health of undocumented immigrants

Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that could allow undocumented Californians to obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Though it may be a largely symbolic move, it’s a step toward including undocumented immigrants in our metric of measuring the quality of life in the United
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