The Berkeley fighting spirit is back and the school’s law students, professors and even the dean are caught up in it.
As UC Regents gear up to vote on systemwide fee increases tomorrow and Thursday, an unknown number of Berkeley law students are supporting workers at the picket line. [The proposal on the table would see fees increase by about 22 percent for Berkeley law students in 2010-11 over the prior year. See Page 8 of this (.pdf)]
More than 20 law classes have been cancelled, rescheduled or moved off campus for the two-day strike, according to Nancy Reiko Kato, a Berkeley Law staffer who’s going on strike tomorrow.
The media gets it wrong, the dean insists. You should talk, students reply. (After the jump .. )
Dean Chris Edley appeared to downplay the magnitude of the increases in a Nov. 16 email addressed to the Boalt On-Campus Community. He stressed that the UC Board of Regents in their meeting this week would adopt tuition increases for all UC students by raising the “registration and education fees” for the spring semester, which for Berkeley law students would mean a $579 increase. He went on to bash a local paper for its reporting, which he called misleading: “The San Francisco Chronicle, quite characteristically, wrote a confused story that gave many people the mistaken impression that far larger increases are at issue,” Edley wrote in his email.
He also chides Boalt faculty to keep in mind that there will be law students who will expect their classes to meet as scheduled.
A recently formed organization lashed back today. In an open letter (.pdf) from the Berkeley Law Organizing Committee, supporters of the strike wrote that in his email, Edley “obscured the facts and gave a misleading impression about the proposal expected to be approved” by the regents this week and “created confusion around the strike and minimized the significance of the ongoing labor dispute.”
(Far be it for us to skip the nuances, but the document linked to the second paragraph above shows Berkeley Law fees rising from $25,659 in the 2009-'10 year to $31,355 a year later.)
The strike begins at 5 a.m. Wednesday and ends at 5 p.m., and runs the same hours on Thursday.
— Petra Pasternak