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Nov. 18 – Dec. 1, 2015 Campus Briefs

Berkeley High Walk Out   

Over 2,000 students from Berkeley High School walked out of class over a racist message posted to a library computer on Nov. 4.

The message was left in the form of a modified screen shot of the school’s library website to make it seem like the site had been hacked. The post included references to the Ku Klux Klan, derogatory language toward African-Americans and threatened a public lynching on Dec 9.

The student, whose name is being withheld, confessed to posting the message. There is no update on what disciplinary action is being taken.

The message was found at 12:30 p.m. and the Black Student Union (BSU) promptly tweeted it out to the school. The official email from principal Sam Pasarow was not sent until 11 hours following the initial discovery, which originally prompted the protest.

“That was the first question we asked him. Why the delay?” student Lashawnda McCullough said in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The demonstrators left class the morning of Nov. 5, and marched to the Sproul Hall administration building on the University of California Berkeley campus. They dispersed around 12:45 p.m., most of them going back to class.

This is the third racist incident at Berkeley High School within the year. In December 2014, a noose made of string was tied to a tree on campus, and a yearbook page about a primarily black organization on campus was edited to call them the “trash collectors of tomorrow.”

– Margaret Weir

California State University Faculty Strike

Thousands of CSU faculty will strike if current labor negotiations do not yield satisfactory results, making the first strike in CSU history.

Tensions between faculty and CSU administration reached their peak this week when a union consisting of CSU professors, lecturers, librarians and counselors voted to authorize a strike by 94 percent.

Recently, faculty had accused CSU of shying away from their tenured professors in favor of lower-paid lecturers. Tenured professors make upward of $80,000, whereas lecturers make approximately $45,000.

Faculty is calling for a five percent pay raise, as well as an additional 1.2 percent for experienced staff, but all CSU is offering is 2 percent.

They seem to be at a deadlock, but Toni Molle, CSU’s director of public affairs, told SFGate that the university is intent on settling.

A 2 percent pay raise would cost about $33 million, whereas a 5 percent raise would cost $82 million. The current CSU chancellor makes $422,300 a year.

There have been four previous votes to strike since 1999, but all were settled with labor compromises.

A fact-finding panel comprised of one neutral party and a representative from both sides will meet in November and December, but if no agreement is reached the 400,000 undergrads and 55,000 grad students currently enrolled in the CSU system will find themselves without a teacher.

– Margaret Weir

Sham Classes

Castlemont and Fremont High Schools have come under scrutiny recently due to a class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by civil defense attorneys against the Department of Education. The suit claims that the state, and not the individual schools are responsible for making sure all students get the opportunity to have an education.

Several of the schools were cited by the plaintiff’s attorney as “sham classes” where students were retaking classes previously passed or just picking up trash or helping around the office.

The Board of Education voted to appeal on Nov. 5, and the agreement requires a state education official to track students assigned to classes with no educational merit. In addition, the state is to pay $400,000 in attorney fees.

– Margaret Weir

Warriors Ground

The Golden State Warriors’ $1 billion arena has been approved by the San Francisco Planning Commission.

The building is set to move to Mission Bay sometime in 2018. The Mission Bay Alliance remains adamant on appealing the decision.

The original plans for the 18,000 seat arena proved to be controversial as it was proposed on piers 30 to 32, but that location faced opposition from environmentalists.

Along with the arena, the vote authorized 3.2 acres of public green space as well as a $60 million transportation improvement plan.

– Margaret Weir

Trans Woman Falls Victim to Second Attack This Year

Samantha Hulsey had left the movie theatre in the Mission when for the second time this year, she fell victim to a random and violent hate crime. Hulsey was attacked sunday night by a couple who reportedly threw hot coffee on her and subsequently beat her.

Police arrested two suspects, Dewayne Kemp, 36 and Rebbecca Westover, 42. Westover was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, battery and a weapons violation. Kemp was booked on suspicion of felony counts of aggravated assault, making threats and conspiracy.

This was the second time since January that Hulsey was randomly harassed and attacked for no reason besides being a transgender woman. The first incident in January resulted in two stab wounds just below Hulsey’s neck.

The San Francisco Humans Rights Commission reported 79 percent of transgender people surveyed had fallen victim to violence in the city, and 88 percent reported being harassed.

– Margaret Weir

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