News in Brief: ASUC Official Quits, Says Senate Unproductive

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ASUC Senator Ivan Jen resigned from the senate Wednesday, citing frustration with the student government's focus on "political games."

The political mudslinging associated with the upcoming April election have affected the senate's productivity for the worse, said Jen, the fourth senator to resign this year.

"It wasn't always like this," Jen said during the senate meeting. "Last semester the senate tried to help students. Could we honestly say (that) this semester?"

Jen said that students were represented by a senate that has been overcome by increasingly prevalent party politics.

"If we are to continue this infighting, the only people we can truly represent (will be) ourselves," Jen said.

Jen also said being elected president of the Berkeley College Republicans had imposed strains on his schedule.

Following Jen's resignation, Student Action member Heather Drennan was sworn into office, raising the number of Student Action members in the senate from four to five.

"I look forward to working with all of you and hopefully we can have a productive three months," Drennan told the senate.

Nadine Dabby

Prize-Winning Poet Holds Reading on Berkeley Campus

Yusef Komunyakaa, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and professor at Princeton University had a poetry reading on campus yesterday.

Komunyakaa, a Louisiana native, read several poems for an audience of approximately 90 people as part of the "Lunch Poems" poetry reading series. The series invites a new poet every month to share their work.

Komunyakaa's poems deal with love, death and his experience in the Vietnam War, among other issues.

Sarah Mourra

Summit Addresses Housing Concerns

The ASUC hosted the third Close Affordable Livable Housing Summit yesterday to address students and community concerns over student housing.

Mayor Shirley Dean and Chancellor Robert Berdahl attended the meeting, providing an opportunity for discussion between city and university officials.

"There was a lot of open, honest dialogue between the mayor and the chancellor," said Gray Chynoweth, ASUC External Affairs Vice President. "They were able to discuss obstacles in working with each other and showed a real willingness to talk to one another."

The city spoke out against dramatic increases in student enrollment, while the university looked for alternative methods for housing incoming students.

These solutions include the proposed Underhill Area Master Plan, which will provide another 800 beds and 1,000 parking spaces in the future. The seismically unsafe dining commons serving Units 1 and 2 will also be replaced by a new dining facility.

Concerns within the surrounding community, such as the lack of growth in the Berkeley housing market, were also addressed.

The External Affairs Office expects to meet again in three weeks to discuss specific plans for land use issues and different finance options.

David Kim


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