Irked by Notices
I need to air my opinion about something that has been bothering me for some time now.
I recognize that you juggle a fair bit of information in your charge to be the newspaper for the faculty and staff of the University of California at Berkeley, but I find the death notices for staff members appalling.
When a staff member passes away, the only mention is a name, department and years of employment. No mention of service to the campus, the roles played over the years, the richness that the people offered to the campus at large.
You do a wonderful job with faculty, why are staff members given such short shift? There is not a staff member I can think of who hasn't contributed to the campus community in some way. If limited space is an issue, then more room needs to be made.
I am sure if five faculty members passed on at the same time, a reasonable amount of space would be made and you would not even consider just listing their names and departmental affiliation. Please give proper acknowledgment to the fact that the staff is important too.
Assistant to the Chair, Plant Biology
EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks for writing about this issue, because it gives us a chance to explain--and ask for some help. We also feel that too often staff members do not get adequate notices. It is not a matter of space as much as writing resources. The longer faculty notices are sent to us by departments or are reprinted from press releases. We actively encourage fellow staff members to write us in a timely fashion about colleagues who have passed away so that we can print more complete notices. Write to Berkeleyan Editor, 101 Sproul Hall, or email: MFF@pio.urel.berkeley.edu.