3457689361_f8328547d7On the off-chance that you’ve been getting all your campus news from the Clog alone, well, for starters, we’re flattered. But there have been some alarming goings-on of late where our student government is concerned, and while you should definitely check out the Daily Cal for the deets, we figured it’s about time we break it down for you here as well.

In a nutshell, the UC Berkeley administration is screwing up. As of July 1, the oversight of the ASUC Auxiliary was realigned from the Office of Administration and Finance to the Division of Students Affairs. The transfer was spurred in part by recommendations from the Operational Excellence Initiative and, more importantly, with very little input from student leaders and without adequately informing or involving the student body as a whole.

Furthermore, June 29 saw the abrupt retirement of ASUC Auxiliary Director Nadesan Permaul, who has served the campus for 33 years and whose unexpected departure, coupled with the controversial realignment, strikes us as shady in the extreme. That Permaul won’t be around to oversee the transition has led many to wonder if his retirement (or at least the timing thereof) was not entirely voluntary.

What is perhaps most troubling is that no one seems willing to give any answers. Over the last few weeks, key administrators have been conspicuously unavailable for comment of any kind, rendering an already problematic situation even less transparent. And Daily Cal reporters aren’t the only ones asking questions — the ASUC Senate classes united as one (which is how you know for sure sh*t is getting real) to write this letter “directly and unanimously” opposing the changes and the thoroughly disrespectful manner in which the campus is implementing them. In summary:

[T]his transition not only is a clear breach of our trust and faith in our university’s administration, but also has forced us to reconsider whether this university shares or even cares for the core mission of the ASUC to serve the students as an autonomous student government.

And they’re totally right. Whatever your feelings about the ASUC, they have the right and, what’s more, the obligation to be angry — and so do you. That university leaders feel they can go over our heads and make significant alterations to the structure of the student government without the slightest pretense of esteem or regard for its sovereignty stands as an assault not only on the ASUC but also on the student body in its entirety; and, as the Daily Cal points out in today’s editorial:

This clash comes at a time when a united campus message is needed more than ever due to dwindling state support for higher education. The relationship between the administration and the ASUC is obviously tarnished and the onus is on the administration to make amends; no one benefits if these two groups are at odds.

So what can you do? Educate yourself. Read that editorial. Write emails and letters to campus officials. Talk to your student leaders. Make your voices heard. Don’t let this issue get swept under the rug. It’s your university, folks. We urge you not to forget.

Image Source: ben.chaney under Creative Commons
Take back the ASUC [Daily Cal]
Retirement of ASUC Auxiliary Director announced [Daily Cal]
ASUC officials unite in strongly-worded opposition to auxiliary realignment [Daily Cal]
Earlier: Make Your Own Ice Cream



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