Distributing the burden

STATE AFFAIRS: Amazon should begin collecting sales tax at the time of purchase as a matter of fairness to the people of California.

California is known for its natural beauty, Hollywood culture and the counter-culture movement of the 1960s, among other things. Unfortunately, it is also known for its dysfunctional politics. California is constantly facing budget cuts that impact social services, particularly higher education. Many complain that taxes are already too high, meaning
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Free to dial

BAY AREA ISSUES: Cutting cellphone service was an inappropriate and outrageous response by BART to ongoing protests.

The so-called Arab spring brought images of protesters using social media and handheld electronic devices and clashing with totalitarian governments. News of curfews and Internet connection disruptions escaped the fray, and the world watched in disgust as governments interrupted citizens’ attempts at free speech. Those stories were always foreign, and
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Athletic academics

HIGHER EDUCATION: NCAA academic regulations must strike a balance between individual accountability and team responsibility.

The term “student-athlete” implies dual responsibilities: the individual is committed to both education and athletic prowess. At the university level, it is imperative that the former not be sacrificed for the latter. According to NCAA figures, UC Berkeley had an impressive 81 percent graduation success rate for student-athletes as of
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Affordable access

HIGHER EDUCATION: Online access fees should not be passed on to students at community colleges to protect openness and access.

Accessibility and affordability are essential for public education to fulfill its purpose of creating a better functioning society. Community colleges in California remain the most open forms of higher education in the state’s three-tiered public system, and the state should work to preserve that accessibility. Budget cuts have been detrimental
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Store of plenty

CITY AFFAIRS: The expansion of Safeway on College avenue is a net positive for students, residents and the city of Oakland.

The proposed expansion of the Safeway at the intersection of College and Claremont avenues has a passionate base of support and an equally passionate opposition. Though opponents raise valid concerns, the specific details of the expansion show that the benefits outweigh the costs to the neighborhood and city. One of
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Bitter compromise

HIGHER EDUCATION: The preservation of the federally funded Pell Grant is welcomed, but the cost was high for graduate students.

There were no clear winners in the federal debt ceiling deal reached last Tuesday. Everything was on the table for cuts — including education. National legislators eliminated the interest subsidy for a government-subsidized loan program for graduate and professional students. But in a bittersweet compromise, the cut allowed the maximum
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A clean slate

UNIVERSITY AFFAIRS: We are happy that the state audit of the university showed no waste but wish efforts were directed toward funding.

In the face of record budget deficits and regular tuition hikes, transparency is absolutely necessary to ensure accountability and confidence — especially at a major public institution like the University of California. A lack of adequate transparency stokes concerns over contentious issues like administrative pay and inspires misplaced displays of
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A DREAM come true

STATE ISSUES: The passage of AB 130 is a victory for public education advocates and shows that California is still a national leader.

California’s government has at times proven unfriendly to students, with drastic cuts to public education resulting in continuously rising student fees at all of California’s public universities. But on July 25, public education advocates and state officials alike were victorious in their efforts to make higher education more accessible when
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A legislative distraction

STATE ISSUES: Leland Yee’s bill on UC executive pay incorrectly shifts the focus of student anger from the state to the regents.

Across the University of California, students are being asked to tighten their belts and share in financial sacrifice. California’s budgetary crisis has taken its toll, leaving the UC Board of Regents with a shrinking pool of resources. While executive pay is a contentious point, there are times when raises are
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Fixing politics

CITY AFFAIRS: A student supermajority district would recreate the same type of disenfranchisement that its proponents decry.

Though a majority of UC Berkeley students live in the areas surrounding the campus, there is currently no student super-majority city council district. While many have called for such a district — most notably ASUC External Affairs Vice President Joey Freeman — its creation would simply be gerrymandering. Creating a
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