Letters to the Editor: ASUC Addresses Relevant Issues



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Chuck McNally may have been trying to suggest positive changes for the ASUC in his last letter to The Daily Californian, but I didn't read anything of substance ("ASUC Should Address Real Issues," Sept. 5). McNally says that the ASUC must address "real issues" and "real life" yet he never defines what these real issues are.

I imagine that McNally desires the ASUC to be more involved in national and world affairs; more measures opposing the bombing of Kosovo, a resolution to support Mumia, and maybe a bill condemning the WTO. But the truth of the matter is the ASUC really has no business in these matters. It is the student government of just one university and unfortunately it has no influence in changing world events. Altering these "real issues" is well outside of the ASUC's jurisdiction.

However, the ASUC has provided many concrete services. While it is fun to bash their bureacracy, I must admit they have allowed me to attend SUBERB movies and concerts. The ASUC also provides vital funding to student organizations across the campus. By funding these groups, the ASUC helps to develop student life and student interaction with the surrounding community. And that is the real mission of the ASUC. If they succeed in streamlining this process through a business model, then all the better.

JASON ETZEL


UC Berkeley student

Appointment Undermines Authority

Is it not interesting that our ASUC is full of Political Science majors aspiring to govern our state and our nation, yet they are not recognizing an obvious conflict of interest? The recent appointment by ASUC President Teddy Liaw of Senator Wally Adeyemo as the Office of the President chief of staff is a disgrace ("ASUC Staff Selection Raises Eyebrows," Sept. 5). It is common sense that one should not serve on both the legislative branch and the executive branch simultaneously.

A conflict of interest arises when an elected official's personal interests create an inconsistency with that person's public responsibility. In this case, Adeyemo's personal interest in his job with Office of the President will clash with his duty as a senator. While it is argued that Adeyemo will not be paid for his work in the Office of the President and thus, not create a conflict of interest, he still is receiving personal benefits such as experience and connections.

Normally, in a situation like this, the attorney general would be responsible for determining if the appointment is appropriate. However, the ASUC has failed to appoint an attorney general. That is right! The ASUC has conveniently left vacant the one position that can impartially judge the decision. How can our government work with our legislative and executive branches joining forces without allowing an opportunity for fair review of the circumstances by the judicial branch?

Liaw, I ask you to write a letter defending your action and offering an explanation of this appointment. If no explanation can be given, this decision needs to be revoked; otherwise, I will have no confidence in your future decisions.

MEREDITH NIKKEL


UC Berkeley student

Uninformed Columnists Suck

After reading Ryan Sim's column, I couldn't help but write it off as yet another terrible example of so-called "cutting-edge journalism" ("We Suck," Sept. 6). It seems as though another victim has fallen prey to bashing a system that they hardly understand.

This is not to say that you are misinformed. Your statistics and numbers seem accurate, and I agree with you that they are staggering. What irks me is your final call to action, which I feel came far too late in your essay. In it you ask whether the reader is part of the problem or part of the solution. In response, I ask you the same question. What purpose does your column serve?

If you were seeking to incite me, you have succeeded, but only with your misplaced "wit" and criticism of that which you demean. What angers me more than this is your choice to jump on the bandwagon of those that complain and whine, yet do nothing to advance humanity's stance in the situation. By this I mean: you are in a position to spread ideas and theories concerning the environment, and what we humans do to it, to thousands of students that read this paper every day. Instead, you harp on our slothful habits (come on, it's all been said already) and save the best line for last; "Do what you can." What a dramatic finish!

Needless to say, I am not impressed. I expect more from students around here. I say that as a student myself. Attempting to not be hypocritical, I can say this much: I want to learn how to help clean up the mess we have created! I need advice; I don't pretend to have the answers. Unlike you, however, I don't get up on a fluffy soap-box of rhetoric and needlessly whine about it. To help "do what I can", I am minoring in Conservation and Resource Studies. I also read informative, enlightening journals and dailies that speak of these important subjects. I think it is safe to say that the waste of space (and valuable trees) that is your column can be dropped from my reading list.

I encourage you to try again. Just be on the side of those you wish to help - us.

MATT ROBINSON


UC Berkeley student

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