NEWS RELEASE, 11/05/99


Nov. 11 forum will explore community service graduation requirement proposed by governor

Office of Public Affairs


Governor Gray Davis's proposal of a community service requirement for graduation will be the subject of a forum to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. next Thursday, Nov. 11, in the Maude Fife Room of Wheeler Hall.

The event will be the first step toward engaging the ASUC and all students in a discussion of the proposed requirement, said Robert Spear, chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate. The senate, the Office of the ASUC Academic Affairs and the campus's Office of Government Affairs are presenting the forum.

Spear said the event also will provide an overview of the proposed community service graduation requirement and an opportunity to investigate not only the current service and service-learning activities here in California, but their history as well.

"We all stand to gain a great deal by sharing information," he said.

Davis formally asked the University of California to begin working with California State University and California Community Colleges toward the development of such a graduation requirement.

Earlier this year, in a letter to UC President Richard Atkinson, Davis wrote: "I strongly support community service and believe that a service ethic should be taught and reinforced as a lasting value in California. California's college and university students enjoy remarkable benefits from a taxpayer-supported system of higher education that is surpassed by none. I want our students to understand as generations before them did the importance of contributing to their communities."

Allison McNally, vice president of ASUC Academic Affairs, said she hopes, as a student, to "contextualize" the proposal at the forum. She doesn't want to go into the event with any "preformulated opinions," she said, but hopes to develop a strong stance in the future after listening to all of the different points of view.

This free event is open to the public. A panel of UC Berkeley faculty, students, and staff will comment on Davis's proposal, and guests will be invited to participate in an open discussion.

The panel also will feature Diana Fuentes-Michel, assistant secretary for higher education at Gov. Davis's Office of Education; Andy Furco, director of service-learning at UC Berkeley; Fred Collignon, UC Berkeley professor of City & Regional Planning and co-chair of the campus's Faculty Policy Committee on Service-Learning; and Michele Pannor, a UC student regent.

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