Letters To The Editor: Residence Requirements Come Under Fire

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I am writing regarding your editorial in which you attacked Joshua Markowitz for his lawsuit ("Tax Payers, Tuition and the U.S. Constitution," March 12). I, too, am an out-of-state student who desperately seeks in-state tuition. But I cannot get it because I cannot afford to shell out $27,000 of my own money every year to be able to establish financial independence.

The UC system isn't giving its students a chance at residency; it effectively blocks them. After all, how many students do you know who can say that they have $54,000 lying around? And, of the students who don't, how can the university expect the students to be able to work enough to make $27,000 per year and still go to school full-time?

It is true that out-of-state students' parents are paying taxes elsewhere, but the students themselves are providing to the California economy. Out-of-state students who wish to obtain residency file their taxes in California; what their parents do cannot be helped.

It is unfair to penalize students who want in-state tuition just because their parents cannot afford to pack up and move to California for three years during their freshman year of high school.

Either way, the UC system isn't providing its students with any chances at becoming residents, even when the residents themselves show their enthusiasm for becoming a resident of the state of California.

Margaret Lin

UC Berkeley student

Recently, I saw an advertisement in The Daily Californian calling for students to oppose AB540, which grants undocumented residents in-state tuition. I am an undocumented student and would like to express how I felt to read this ad. I am saddened to see that some students will not sensitize to the value of attaining an education for some of us.

My family has lived in the the states for 10 years, working very hard to provide the best for their children, paying taxes, contributing to the economy.

Underpaid, overworked. We are here because the conditions are much better than they were in our country, and despite the fact that my parents would love to go back to where we came from, they want what's best for their children.

Undocumented students deserve to attain an education and it is time that the burden of paying out-of-state tuition is lifted from us. We live, work, and pay taxes in California. Hear our plight: We only want a college education and to be productive in society.

Are we asking for a privilege? No, I believe that access to higher education is our right.

Monica Alderete

UC Berkeley student

I consider myself a resident of California. I was born here. I've worked and paid taxes here. Both of my parents lived here for decades and have paid their taxes faithfully. I'm a registered California voter. I have my California driver's license. I've lived here the majority of my life. So why should I pay the price of a private education at a public school? ("Tax Payers, Tuition and The U.S. Constitution," March 12).

I should not be barred from receiving tuition at a state-subsidized level simply because of the divorce of my parents. I'm as much Californian as anyone else here, and I've lived in this state longer than many so-called "residents."

The odious system of bureaucratic provisos and stipulations has catapulted me into student debt and the taxes my parents have paid to California have become charity for other students' educations. Is that right?

My father is a farmer and cleans carpets for extra money. My mother is a full-time student in California. It's been two years since I first petitioned for residency. I have not received a letter or call. And I still await an answer. I remain in a limbo with no state to call my home. Ask any nonresident student and they'll tell you tuition here is a bitch.

My only hope is that UC changes its residency policies. If I am considered a resident at a community college in California (and I have been) why shouldn't I be considered one for the university that decided last January to cover the nonresident tuition for "undocumented" students?

Until policy changes I'll continue to work graveyard shifts 15 hours a week to cover just the cost of my apartment. Maybe I'll just go find a money tree for next year's tuition, chase rainbows for a pot of gold, or just simply pull the much needed tuition money out of my ass.

Jonathan Haeber

UC Berkeley student

I may not have had my fair share of Berkeley "revisionist history" yet, but I still thought California was part of the United States. Therefore, why are we charging illegal immigrant who aren't even part of this country less than US citizens from out of state?

The only argument I see is that illegal immigrants contribute more than out-of-state residents. Is this really true? Do they make enough to pay income tax? And as for sales tax, that's just like saying a family on vacation in Berkeley has as much a right to resident tuition as a someone living here since they both pay the same tax on underwear.

The fact is that U.S. citizens are much closer in status to Californians than someone from another country. As a child of parents who legally came here, I feel both cheapened and saddened by this Berkeley pseudologic.

Susan Sanchez

UC Berkeley student

Hate Letters

The mailing of hate filled, threatening letters to Bay Area Chicano or Latino groups and individuals, including some members of our campus community, is both criminal and reprehensible. The campus police department is assisting the FBI in its aggressive pursuit of those responsible and is working vigorously to ensure the safety of all members of our community. I join with countless others on campus and across the country in expressing outrage over these racist attacks.

Robert M. Berdahl

UC Berkeley Chancellor

Covering Grief

I am writing to express my outrage at the lack of journalistic respect and integrity used by The Daily Californian in covering the death of Nicolai Rosen ("Man Found Dead in Evans Hall, Police Investigating Cause," March 12).

I watched with disgust as the media sensationalized the grief of mourners after Sept. 11 in the interest of ratings. I only hope that the grief of those that knew Nicolai will be juicy enough to bring in another load of Target inserts to litter our campus.

Daily Cal reporters broke the news to members of my house before the police had identified the body. They then asked pointed questions about Nicolai's personal life to shocked house members, searching for anything to fill the front page. The house members of Le Chateau would have been able to present a more respectful and truthful portrait of our friend if the Daily Cal had run the story a day later, after a positive identification had been performed on the body and some time had passed.

I am also upset over the moralizing in the article. The writers have transformed his death into a cautionary tale for those in competitive majors, cheapening his pain and his life. I am requesting an apology from the editors for exploiting the pain of their fellow students and sacrificing compassion for a quick space filler.

Brendan Grady

House manager, Le Chateau

Unifying Idea

Having spent quite a few years on this campus, I've seen very few events that have actually unified the students of UC Berkeley on anything. The Cal-Penn NCAA game this Friday, however, is one of those rare opportunities for us to unite against some primetime Ivy League chumps.

A friend e-mailed me a couple articles written in the Daily Pennsylvanian that not only demean our Golden Bears, but look forward to the next game after us as if beating Cal was a given. That these wannabes have the gall to compare themselves to Oski is ridiculous. So, on Friday at 11:55 a.m., liberals and conservatives, MEChA and Republicans, administrators and staff, please take a couple hours to sit down together, share a drink, and watch the Golden Bears rip apart the Quakers.

Trevor Mayple

UC Berkeley student

Lecturers' Plight

Thank you for reporting on the ASUC senate decision to support clerical workers and nonadministrative employees who are seeking higher (read: fair) wages at UC ("ASUC Demands Higher Pay for UC Employees," March 11).

I would like to remind the campus community that there is another group of represented employees-the non-senate faculty, better known as "lecturers"-who have been in negotiations for more than 20 months for a new contract (the old one expired on June 30, 2000).

Recently, due to UC's refusal to bargain in good faith, Gov. Gray Davis appointed a mediator who is now meeting with the union bargaining team. Among the "bad faith" actions UC has taken is withholding our last two cost-of-living increases in an attempt to force us to settle for a less-than-optimal contract. It hasn't worked.

Non-senate faculty teach approximately half the undergraduate courses at UC; nearly every student reading this has had or will have one or more courses taught by non-sebnate faculty member during their years at UC.

In most cases, in the classroom, these teachers are indistinguishable from senate faculty. But we know we're different: We have no job security, no standard pay scale, little or no professional development support, limited access to benefits, and salaries that are generally much lower than those of senate faculty with equivalent qualifications and teaching experience.

As students do whatever they can to encourage the UC administration to pay the clerical and nonadministrative workers fair wages, I hope they will also take time to encourage UC officials to reach an equitable settlement with the lecturers in their contract negotiations and mediation.

Kathryn Klar

UC Berkeley celtic studies lecturer


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