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Campus Issues: Yes, the campus budget deficit won't be easy for anyone. But there isn't any other choice but to adapt and survive.

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UC Berkeley is at a crossroads, and the only choice anyone has is to stick through the crisis.

At the UC Board of Regents meeting last week, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced what the effects of the UC system's budget deficit on the Berkeley campus will be: Libraries will discontinue the tradition of being open 24 hours a day during finals week, the availability of work-study jobs for students will be diminished by a quarter of its current capacity, courses will be reduced by around 8 percent and GSI appointments will be reduced by as much as 20 percent in some departments.

Unfortunately for the Berkeley community-no one part of which is left unaffected-there is no choice but to weather the storm through to the end. The campus is in the middle of a major change, and like all key points in Berkeley's history, the best thing to do is adapt.

Granted, with the changes that are now being implemented, UC

Berkeley will come out of this in an unfamiliar form.

In addition to what he said last week, Birgeneau has already announced hiring freezes and the elimination of some staff positions.

With a near-total hiring freeze for faculty and a complete freeze in staff hiring, less financial aid and a library system that will need to be restructured to exist during the interim, there will not be any part of the campus community that will be left untouched, no department or campus unit that can continue as they have in the last few years, no student who will not find classes a little larger, a little harder to get into, or a little less varied.

But the alternative, as the chancellor has said, is to eliminate as many as 450 staff positions on campus that will make many units inoperable.

Essentially, the Berkeley community-and students in particular-will need to adapt itself to the current crisis in order to find itself on the other side at all.






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