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What do you think about the results of the recall election?

It's official, more or less: 55 percent of voters chose yesterday to recall Governor Gray Davis, and 3.7 million Californians want to replace him in Sacramento with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. A majority also shot down the two propositions on the ballot: Proposition 53, which asked for a constitutional amendment to set aside funds for state infrastructure, and Proposition 54, which would have prohibited the state from using race, ethnicity, color, or national origin to classify people.

Here's what a random sample of Berkeley students had to say about these topics. Comment


'Arnold has no political experience, so I'm curious about what kind of a job he'll do. I am kind of nervous, because he was an actor and a lot of people poke fun at his movies — he's not a great actor, he's all brawn and no brain, that kind of thing. It will be interesting for California to see what kind of a leader he'll be.'
—Khoi Lam, fourth-year Sociology major
Khoi Lam

Rhonda Ford-Webb
'Even though I expected Arnold to win, the reality is just now setting in. I think it's a shame, and it's ridiculous. He makes us look like fools. They're laughing at California on all the talk shows and all around the rest of the country. We did not uphold our civil responsibilities and duties. It's like people were just playing around — participating, yes, but just acting silly. He looks good, he looks American, but he doesn't understand the issues. We've elected a celebrity to make decisions that really affect our lives.'
—Rhonda Ford-Webb, fourth-year Sociology major

'Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to return California to the shining city on the hill. My point of view is shared by quite a few people — say, 55 percent of Californians at last count. As for Prop. 53, I'm not surprised that it failed; it was bad public policy. Prop. 54 was the right idea, but it was poorly worded, so its opponents were able to exploit the language and use scare tactics to defeat it. It was a good attempt to move California to a race-blind state, and I'm sure it will be back.'
—Steve Sexton, fourth-year Economics and Political Science double major
Steve Sexton

Leah Monroe 'It takes away our sense of security in our government when the governor can be recalled because a few wealthy people didn't like him. If it doesn't make sense how Schwarzenegger was elected, how can we have faith in him? Personally, I think Arnold should never have been on the ballot. The governor of California should have some experience in politics, and Schwarzenegger has none. He was elected because he's a popular guy and people thought it would be fun to vote for him. They weren't thinking about the future. This is just going to continue California's downward spiral.'
—Leah Monroe, third-year Political Science major

'Prop. 54 was unnecessary and voters saw that. As for Arnold, we're all watching and waiting. I don't think it can get any worse, and if it does, well, we know who to blame. For that matter, we also know how to get rid of him.'
—Andrew Reback, fourth-year Political Science major


'I'm glad there's been a change in Sacramento. I believe that only fiscal good will come to our state as a result. Hopefully it will be reflected in student fees, but I'm not going to hold my breath there. One thing I'm pleased about is that Schwarzenegger appointed [former L.A. mayor] Richard Riordan to his education team; Riordan really did tremendously well with the L.A. Unified School District, at least compared to where it was a few years ago. And I'm glad Prop. 53 didn't pass, as I think that would have been devastating for our struggling school system.'
—Miriam Pasternak, first-year undeclared (English or History intended) major

'I'm happy about Prop. 54 going down. We've been pushing for No on 54 for a while. I'm disappointed that Arnold Schwarzenegger won; I didn't vote for him. But I wasn't surprised, given the polls. Hopefully it can't get any worse for California, regardless of who takes office. However, I think things may have to get worse before they get better.'
—Bobby Lin, fourth-year Interdisciplinary Studies major
Bobby Lin

Jeannie Freedlund
'I'm glad Prop. 54 went down, first of all because of the benefits of collecting health data, and second for education; we need to make sure minorities and underprivileged kids get as good an education as possible. I think it's ridiculous that Arnold Schwarzenegger is governor. He has no idea what he's doing. I don't think he even understands the basic processes of the legislature. How's he going to deal?'
—Jeannie Freedlund, third-year Rhetoric major