Written by William Hekman
Both the University of California system and California State University system have been under some recent controversies this year, ranging from student loans, housing, and sexual assault.
Governor Newsom submitted an amicus brief to the California Supreme Court, urging the court to stop a recent decision that could force UC Berkeley to cut 3,000 students from fall enrollment. Newsom said, “We can’t let a lawsuit get in the way of the education and dreams of thousands of students who are our future leaders and innovators”. The Alameda Superior Court previously ruled on a capped enrollment after the citizens of Berkley sued the university. They said that the growth in students was taking a toll on city services leading to scarcity in housing and noise. The court of appeals also rejected UC Berkeley’s request to undo the ruling.
Student housing has also been a hot issue in California universities. California universities do not have enough housing to support students. This has forced many students to find alternative housing options. State Senator Scott Wiener introduced a bill that would allow campus housing to be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act. Sacramento is also considering a $7 billion loan for campuses short of housing to build new housing. Senator Wiener said, “ Students — who are simply trying to go to school and learn — should not be forced to live in their cars because colleges can’t provide enough housing for them”.
The biggest controversy has been the recent resignation of Cal State Chancellor Joseph Castro. Castro resigned after it was revealed he mishandled sexual assault allegations while at Fresno State. In the wake of his resignation, lawmakers are conducting a statewide assessment of Title IX and its policies over sex-based discrimination. “Survivors of the abusive conduct and harassment — as well as the entire CSU community and public at large — deserve to know exactly what happened under Chancellor Castro’s watch at Fresno State,” said State Senator Connie Levya.
Even as COVID lingers throughout the education system, especially in California, students continue to be the ones hurt by the policies of California and the actions of its educational leaders.
Photo Cred: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images