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Jericho Mansions move

Looks like fun, no?You may have been too stressed out of your mind to notice that, while you were stalking angrily to your finals on Thursday and Friday, you were ruining family photos on Upper Sproul Plaza or in front of the Campanile. Yes, there is a reason for the sudden rash of people taking cheesy pictures … and that reason is graduation season Deep Impact film

Helter Skelter trailer

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That means a lot of people walking around in caps and gowns, stopping in front of every building on campus, capturing their final Berkeley memories. It also means sometimes-semi-interesting commencement speakers. Some of these commencement speeches look pretty crash-able, especially the outdoor ones, so even if you don’t know anybody in the major, you might be able to catch some words of wisdom.

Image Source: m00by under Creative Commons
Graduation ceremony season starts Thursday, May 14 [NewsCenter

Their First Mistake video Reach for the Sky rip

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Many seniors expressed disdain that the 2008 Commencement Convocation speaker was Craig Newmark, the creator of Craigslist, and not someone like Steve Jobs or Nostradamus telling us what to do with life after college. But, hey, at least we had a speaker.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is at the height of demanding change for many underpaid UC service workers (this includes health care technicians, custodians, dining workers and more), and if they don’t reach a compromise with the university before this weekend, UCLA and UC Davis may not have the high-profile commencement addresses they were expecting: former President Bill Clinton and California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, respectively.

Both individuals refuse to cross picket lines or speak while university workers are without a contract. By the way, Nunez was supposed to speak at Cal two years ago, but didn’t because of AFSCME.

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It’s established that Danny Glover is a no-go for the Commencement Convocation today at 4 p.m. Instead, students will listen to Chancellor Birgeneau and others speak at $2 a seat in the Greek Theatre.

Dude, we’ve heard him speak for free. At least Glover bared his ass in “Beloved.” And it was a nice, muscular gluteus maximus.

Alongside the chancellor, graduating senior Adrian Down will speak today and receive the University Medal. Down is a high-achieving, 3.9 GPA double major in physics and math who has gained recognition for his advanced research, mentoring and promotion of organic foods. Plus, he wears bright plaid shorts. Rock on.

UC Berkeley NewsCenter lists the other speakers for the various graduation ceremonies held until May 21. Some of the department speakers seem rather ill-fitting. Here are the head-scratchers:

* Patricia Gandara, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. Graduate School of Education, May 12 at 2 p.m. in Zellerbach.
* Kate Levin, UC Berkeley alumna and commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. English Department, May 13 at 3 p.m. at the Greek.
* Sabeer Bhatia, founder of Hotmail and one of Time’s “People to Watch” in 2002 for international business. Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Economy, Conservation Research Studies, Latin American Studies and Middle Eastern Studies, May 17 at 3 p.m. in Zellerbach.

That last one’s a doozy. Shouldn’t a business dude address business people? Just a thought. Also, that’s a mighty random grouping of departments. It looks like someone just got lazy:

“Ah, what the heck, let’s just have the Time guy do all the other departments. I’ve got a meeting to go to and I’m already late on those TPS reports. Did you hear we have to put cover sheets on them now? Shit.”

Commencement Convocation this Wednesday [UC Berkeley NewsCenter]


It’s official, and no, Lethal Weapon 5 isn’t in the works–at least not yet. But Danny Glover will not be speaking at this year’s commencement ceremony.

Inside Bay Area news is reporting that Glover has officially cancelled on the university.

Last week, Glover told reporters that he was going to boycott the commencement convocation to join in solidarity with the custodians currently in a labor dispute with the university.

Glover’s announcement comes a day after UC custodians have agreed to a new proposal to end their labor dispute.

The proposal, which was authored by former California State Sen. John Burton, calls for a $1.75 per hour increase for custodians at Cal, UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz. Custodians at other UCs would receive a $0.75 per hour increase.

It looks like Burton was trying to save this year’s commencement ceremony by coming up with this deal. In a statement, Burton said:

bq. It would be a great dishonor to the University of California should this dispute unnecessarily disrupt ceremonies again this year.

Oh well. Better luck next time.

Earlier: Danny Glover Can Disappoint Without Making Lethal Weapon 5

NEW: Glover cancels UC speech to protest janitor wages [Inside Bay Area]
Custodians Agree to Proposal to End Labor Dispute [Daily Cal]


Danny Glover is trying to throw his weight around. He said yesterday that he will not speak at this year’s commencement convocation unless a labor dispute with custodians is resolved.

This would be the second year in a row that someone did not speak because of a labor issue. State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez dropped out at the last minute last year for a similar reason and we couldn’t get other Democratic politicians either.

And just because we already said that the way of choosing convocation speakers is horrible, we’ll do it again:

bq. The Senior Class Council, or the Californians, was responsible for selecting a commencement speaker and have said that they were careful to select a speaker outside the political arena in order to avoid the problem of speakers dropping out of ceremonies.

Guess that didn’t work out so well. Maybe next year we should try something a little more traditional, like paying for a speaker.

Speaker Will Not Cross Picket Lines [Daily Cal]