Tuesday, December 10

Community Briefs


Wednesday, November 6, 1996

Poll shows no clear majority on Prop. 209

At UC Berkeley, hotbed of the national affirmative action
debate, students are split on a state initiative that would ban
race and gender preferences from public institutions, according to
a poll conducted by the Daily Californian.

On a campus where pro-affirmative action rallies take place
almost weekly, there is no firm majority either for or against
Proposition 209 among undergraduates, although the survey found
that more respondents are against the initiative than are for it.
The poll is the first ever to survey UC Berkeley students about
their opinions on affirmative action.

"The poll suggests that affirmative action is an issue that
concerns many people deeply, and there is a clear division of
opinion," Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ said Thursday.
"There’s a lot of confusion about what the proposition actually
means, so people’s opinions really reflect that."

When presented with a summary of UC Berkeley’s own admissions
policy, which allows race preferences, nearly 60 percent of those
surveyed said they favor the current system. The UC Board of
Regents voted to dismantle the university’s affirmative action
programs.

According to the poll, 45 percent of undergraduates said they
will vote against Proposition 209, 37 percent said they will vote
in favor of it and 18 percent are undecided. At the same time, 59
percent of students support UC Berkeley’s admissions policy. Only
24 percent of respondents, however, are strongly in favor of the
policy; 37 percent oppose it.

"I’m surprised. I thought that students would be actually for
it," said Proposition 209 co-author Glynn Custred. "If what they
know about 209 are the lies and deceptions and trickery of the
opposition, then they’re fools."

With funding from the Pew Charitable Trust, The Daily
Californian polled 1,484 undergraduates in 45 randomly selected
classes. The margin of error for the poll, which was conducted over
a four-day period, is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

A Field Poll released earlier this week showed that, statewide,
the gap between supporters and opponents of Proposition 209 is
closing. According to the survey, 46 percent of Californians favor
the initiative, 41 percent would vote against it and 13 percent are
undecided.

Gov. Wilson honors slain police officers

Governor Pete Wilson paid tribute Friday to California
correctional officers who have died in the line of duty by placing
a wreath at the California Correctional Peace Officers
Memorial.

"With this act, we do two things ­ we remember those who
have lost their lives in heroic service to their fellow man and we
pledge never to forget the cause that they died for," Wilson said.
"To those who take for granted the kind of protection that you
afford a civilized society or openly disparage it, let me say this
­ there are no braver souls than the 34 officers memorialized
here."

Thirty-four officers were remembered in the annual ceremony with
Wilson paying a special tribute to Ineasie Baker. Baker, a youth
counselor at Heman G. Stark Youth Training School in Chino, was
killed in the line of duty earlier this year. Wilson presented a
flag that was flown over the State Capitol to Baker’s husband and
daughter.

Socialist presidential candidate to speak

Socialist Workers presidential candidate James Harris will speak
on campus Tuesday.

Termed "the working class alternative to the Democratic and
Republican parties of war, racism and economic depression," Harris
will address students on Election Day in an effort to educate
voters on the socialist platform. Co-sponsored by the African
Student Union, Harris will touch on subjects such as affirmative
action, Proposition 209, abortion, civil rights for gays and
lesbians, and a call for an end to the U.S. embargo of Cuba.

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