The campus will likely be especially lively Thursday, Oct. 12, when supporters of affirmative action hold a day-long series of events, including a rally on the Sproul steps in which the Rev. Jesse Jackson is expected to attend.
Some are calling for a systemwide walk-out as part of a campaign to highlight the consequences of the UC Regents' decision on July 20 to eliminate race, ethnicity and gender from admissions, employment and contracting.
Campus officials said that while "some staff and faculty members will want to participate in some portion of the events of the day," the campus will remain open.
"We must remain mindful of our obligations to continue the teaching, research and public service activities of the university. Offices should remain open and staff who are away during their regular work hours should do so by prior arrangement with their supervisors to use vacation time or other appropriate leave," Vice Chancellors Carol T. Christ and Horace Mitchell said in an Oct. 6 memo to deans and directors.
The university will not censor political views, including those on T-shirts. But the memo notes that wearing particular clothing should be consistent with existing unit or department practice and policy. In other words, T-shirts of any kind should not be worn if that violates an established dress policy for a given unit.
"On Oct. 12, as always, we mustrespect the diversity of ideas within our campus community and the larger society and interact with each other with civility and mutual respect," said Christ and Mitchell.
In other action, a newly formed group, Berkeley Faculty for Affirmative Action, called a press conference on Tuesday, Oct. 10, to "assert that UC Berkeley's academic excellence is the result of the diversity of intellectual ideals that come from different cultures, backgrounds and viewpoints about the world."
In a press release, the group said maintaining diversity "requires energetic efforts to recruit and engage qualified individuals. Such efforts will not adequately be pursued without affirmative action."