UC Berkeley News


News Briefs

08 December 2004

Berkeleyan signs off for 2004

This is our final issue of 2004; we publish next on Jan. 13. Look for campus news, in the interim, at Berkeley’s online NewsCenter, newscenter.berkeley.edu.

I-House ‘anti-bias’ essay contest, offering hefty prizes, is open to all

International House Berkeley is hosting a narrative essay competition entitled “A Vision of Hope: Addressing Prejudice and Stereotyping in the Wake of 9/11.” The competition is open to current and former I-House residents and members from the U.S. and abroad, as well as the public. It was one of several projects selected by the ChevronTexaco Foundation in a call for proposals to address prejudice and stereotyping in the U.S. and abroad following the events of September 11.

Winning essays will be chosen by a committee of I-House residents, board members, and supporting members from diverse backgrounds. Each of 10 winners will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000 and their essays will be published in an educational handbook, edited by author and I-House alumna Firoozeh Dumas, to be distributed nationally and internationally. All contest entrants automatically receive a free six-month International House membership.

The deadline for entries, including those from overseas and out-of-state, is March 27, 2005. Winners will be announced at a reception and dinner in early May 2005.

Official guidelines and contest applications are available online at ias.berkeley.edu/ihouse/p/essay.html; in the International House Program Office, 2299 Piedmont Ave. (corner of Bancroft Way); or by e-mail request to ihprogra@berkeley.edu. For additional information, call 642-9460.

Fall enrollment figures detail makeup of student population

Campus officials released final enrollment figures last week for the fall 2004 semester. The total campus population, including all graduate and undergraduate students, is about 32,800.

The data show that women continue to be in the majority — 54 percent — among undergraduate students, the same as last year. Men continue to comprise 54 percent of the graduate-student population.

Among the new freshman class, total enrollment remained steady, with 3,671 students enrolled compared to 3,652 in fall 2003. As projected, final enrollment figures show a notable drop in the number of enrolled African American students — 108 this fall compared to 149 in fall 2003 — as well as a smaller decline among Chicano/Latino students. All other ethnic groups posted enrollment gains.

For detailed data, see the fall 2004 enrollment charts, posted online at www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/12/02 _enroll_table.shtml.

CSHE publishes early results of digital-resources study

The volume of educational materials available in online collections is growing exponentially — but how are these materials being used in teaching and learning contexts? A research team at the campus’s Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) has undertaken a two-year project to understand more clearly how, and if, these online materials (especially free materials) are used in undergraduate-teaching contexts. Their early analyses of faculty focus groups and more than 500 survey responses suggest that although many faculty in the humanities and social sciences use digital resources in their teaching, they struggle with finding and reusing materials. Many also encounter significant barriers to using digital resources, including lack of time, inadequate support, and limited access to classroom technology.

To read CSHE’s preliminary first-year report on its research, see digitalresourcestudy.berkeley.edu. For an article about the findings, published by UC’s Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center webzine, see www.uctltc.org/news/2004/11/cshe.htm.

New student e-mail policy available online

The campus’s new policy on student e-mail requires that all Berkeley students have an e-mail address in the berkeley.edu domain, in order to facilitate universal distribution of official campus communications. The text of the new policy can be found on the campuswide policies and procedures website, at campuspol.chance.berkeley.edu/policies/studentemail.pdf.

Update on campus pool schedules

Golden Bear pool at Clark Kerr Campus has closed for the winter season due to budget cuts. For details, see calbears.berkeley.edu/news/items/gbrcdetails.asp. For a complete listing of the recreational swimming hours at Spieker, Hearst, and Strawberry Canyon pools, see calbears.berkeley.edu/facilities/pools/facpoolhrs.asp or call the pool hotline at 642-6400.

Iran-Afghan photos on display at Townsend Center

A photo exhibit titled “Images of Iran and the Afghan Diaspora: 2001-2004” is on display through December at the Townsend Center for the Humanities, 220 Stephens Hall. Taken by visiting anthropology scholar Diane Tober, the photos explore the lives of people in modern-day Iran, particularly Afghan refugees in urban and rural settings in Isfahan province. The show is cosponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

UC charges energy companies with manipulating natural-gas prices

The University of California filed a lawsuit last month against a number of major natural gas providers, claiming they manipulated retail natural gas prices during California’s 2000-’01 energy crisis. In its suit, UC claims that the energy companies — primarily producers, marketers, traders, transporters, distributors and sellers of retail natural gas — engaged in “unfair and deceptive conduct (that) caused California gas retail prices to escalate to about six times the national average.”