Loan sharks still circle

NATIONAL ISSUES: President Barack Obama’s plan for easing the process of paying off federal student loans is only a first step.

As the price of an education grows steeper across the nation, so too has the burden of student loans. Student debt will surpass a staggering $1 trillion this year, meaning total student loan debt will be greater than the credit card debt in the United States. Something must change. Though
Read More…

Haste makes waste

CITY AFFAIRS: The city’s $3.6 million plan to revamp its garbage trucks is forward-thinking, but more research must be done.

Who knew trash could be so costly? In order to make up for a $1.2 million refuse fund deficit, the Berkeley City Council is considering a plan to revamp the city’s current -— and apparently dumpy — garbage trucks for more advanced, eco-friendly ones. The price tag? $3.6 million. Officials
Read More…

Stunted growth

CITY AFFAIRS: As a program seeking to educate youth about gardening faces closure, we encourage the community to embrace it.

The city of Berkeley is an epicenter for the slow food movement, promoting the ideals of local and sustainable agricultural practices with access to such produce for all. But now, as a city urban gardening program is about to close its doors, it seems the community has slightly loosened its
Read More…

FAFSA’s folly

NATIONAL ISSUES: The inability of students with same-sex parents to file a FAFSA causes inconvenient confusion and difficulty.

As if filing a FAFSA each year weren’t a hassle enough, an article this past Saturday in The New York Times examined the undue difficulties faced by students with same-sex parents in filing their financial aid forms. Students are only permitted to list one of their mothers or fathers on
Read More…

Protesting punishment

CAMPUS ISSUES: The recent lawsuit filed by current and former students against officials reflects an unfortunate campus schism.

Another day, another legal battle in the UC Berkeley community. Nearly two years after UCPD arrested 66 people in a week-long protest in Wheeler Hall, a group of former and current students filed a class action lawsuit Oct. 7 against administrators in regard to their response to the situation. During
Read More…

Trading spaces

CAMPUS ISSUES: Though we are sad to see the only 24-hour food-friendly study space on campus lost, we understand the decision.

The ASUC Senate authorized at its meeting last Wednesday the conversion of the Eshleman Library from student space to a commercial venue until next fall, when Eshleman Hall is scheduled to be demolished. However, the authorization won’t really change anything. Last year, former ASUC Auxiliary Director Nadesan Permaul and former
Read More…

Nuclear waste

CITY ISSUES: The Nuclear Free Berkeley Act is outdated, and we applaud the efforts by one city official to repeal parts of it.

Members of Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission, who say the threat of nuclear war is still real, are up in arms in response to Berkeley City Councilmember Gordon Wozniak’s efforts to repeal parts of the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act. However, the act is a relic of a bygone era. Passed
Read More…

Trigger-happy

STATE ISSUES: California has fallen about $700 million short of revenue targets so far this year, making trigger cuts more real.

The California Controller’s Office revealed this week that the state is now over $700 million behind its revenue projections for this year. This report not only strengthens our certainty that the potential $2.5 billion midyear trigger cuts will go through, but it also enhances our doubts about state legislators’ budget-making
Read More…

Delaying judgment

BAY AREA AFFAIRS: BART’s idea to extend service Friday and delay trains Saturday would benefit students but could have bad effects.

With BART considering a plan to extend Friday night hours and delay services on Saturday, we are excited about the implications for students, but we acknowledge that the plan could present setbacks. Students inevitably wonder how they will return home when traveling across the Bay, and BART train schedules can
Read More…

A necessary rejection

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed SB 185, a bill that was counter to constitutional processes and an inadequate solution.

The veto of SB 185 disappointed advocates who wanted to facilitate greater access for underrepresented minorities in our state’s public universities. From the start, however, this bill was not the answer to increase diversity and was in fact counter to the state’s constitutional procedures. SB 185 sought to allow the
Read More…