The Dustbowl

We are pleased campus officials are addressing student concerns, but the delays that have occurred are concerning.

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For many UC Berkeley students, the construction at Memorial Stadium is an inconvenience that requires taking alternate routes or changing schedules. For some students, the construction is an inescapable source of noise and pollution that disrupts sleep and may cause respiratory symptoms.

The ASUC Senate passed a bill at its March 9 meeting submitted by Cooperative Movement Senator Elliot Goldstein that requested a meeting between administrators and students at two nearby cooperatives. At Wednesday's meeting, Dean Poullard - who was mentioned in the bill - and communications director for facilities services Christine Shaff addressed student concerns and announced that the campus was purchasing air purifiers to be placed in Sherman Hall.

We are pleased that the senate took time to listen to representatives of the affected students and pass this bill - it is an excellent example of how the ASUC can act in its capacity to represent the student body and advocate for change. We hope that executives use their regular contact with campus administrators to further stress the issue and that as construction continues, so does the dialogue.

While it's reassuring that the campus is taking steps to address the problems, we have trouble understanding the chronology of events that led up to Wednesday's announcement. It is concerning that Dean Poullard was largely unaware of the problems until recently, especially considering the time that has elapsed since the problem was first brought to the campus's attention.

Berkeley Student Cooperative Executive Director Jan Stokley sent a letter on Jan. 24 to Shaff requesting a meeting, and though they have had several meetings since then, it's inexcusable that the campus did not schedule the purifiers to be delivered until today. The egregiousness of this delay is exacerbated by the fact that students believe that the construction constitutes a health hazard. Addressing safety concerns should be a top priority for the campus - not something that requires nearly two months for resolution.

Renovation of the stadium is to ensure the best possible experience for our student athletes - but it cannot come at the expense of the residents living next door.

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