UC Berkeley >

University of California

Berkeley and the Mideast


Tension and tolerance at UC Berkeley: 2001-2002 chronology

For later events, see the 2002-2003 chronology
Sept. 11, 2001
Terrorist attacks kill thousands in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Chancellor Berdahl expresses shock and sadness, keeps the campus open to provide a sense of community.
Students and others, including Berdahl, hold a candlelight vigil on Sproul Plaza at 8 p.m. in memory of the victims.
Sept. 14
At noon, the campus observes a moment of silence for Sept. 11 victims.
Muslim Students Association and ASUC invite campus to a prayer session; Berdahl and many others attend.
Campus student organizations direct aid toward Sept. 11 relief agencies.
Sept. 18
Daily Californian publishes an editorial cartoon about the terrorist attacks. Considering the cartoon insensitive to Muslims, 16 students occupy the newspaper’s offices and are arrested for trespassing.
Sept. 19
Coalition of student groups holds a rally to protest Daily Cal editorial cartoon.
Berdahl reaffirms UC Berkeley's commitment to First Amendment rights.
Sept. 21
As the media reports bias crimes against people believed to be Muslims, Berdahl, the ASUC president and the dean of students meet with Muslim student leaders.
Sept. 24
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) launches "Intifada Week," a series of panel discussions and lectures on Palestine.
Jewish Student Union sponsors "Rally for America." Other student groups on the same plaza engage with the union in heated debates.



Sept. 12
A UC Berkeley professor and computer science students create a Web site to help the public find out about the safety of loved ones affected by the terrorist attacks.
Journalism school hosts a discussion on "Roots of Global Anger."




Sept. 17
Tribute at Memorial GladeMore than 12,000 people reflect on Sept. 11 at a Memorial Glade gathering. "Let those of us who hold the candle of learning in our hands hold firm in the vigil for freedom and reasoned discourse," Berdahl says. Chancellor's remarks



Sept. 20
Peace and Conflict Studies holds a teach-in on nonviolence.
Students hold an anti-war rally, at which the Daily Cal is criticized for its controversial cartoon.
Sept. 22
A memorial service is held on campus for Sept. 11 victim Mark Bingham, a UC Berkeley graduate. Sen. John McCain and Berdahl attend.



Sept. 29-30
A record crowd attends Homecoming & Parents Weekend, with participants especially drawn to timely lectures by UC Berkeley professors about the Sept. 11 attacks.




Oct. 15
Berkeley College Republicans hold "War in America" rally.
Oct. 17
White powder scare at the Haas School of Business, one of dozens of false alarms in the Bay Area as the country grapples with reports of anthrax powder being mailed to East Coast addresses.
Oct. 18
More than 100 Jewish students and supporters show solidarity against anti-Semitism and hate at a Sproul Hall gathering.
Oct. 25
On Sproul Plaza, a pro-America rally sponsored by Berkeley United Students for America attracts more than 150 students.
Professor AkerloffOct. 10
Professor George Akerlof is awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, the second consecutive economics prize for Berkeley and the campus's third in seven years.






Oct. 24
Michael Dickinson, professor of integrative biology and an expert on the aerodynamics of flying insects, wins a MacArthur "genius" fellowship.





Jan. 22
Instruction resumes, with new courses in many disciplines examining Sept. 11 issues.
Chancellor attends a board meeting for Hillel, a center near campus for Jewish life and culture.
Jan. 8, 2002
UC Berkeley achieves national distinction and recognition from the National Wildlife Federation for its efforts to develop an environmentally sustainable campus.
Jan. 10
A study finds that UC Berkeley is a driving force in the Bay Area economy. It is the fifth largest employer in the Bay Area, brings more than half a billion dollars in new money into the regionís economy each year, and generates more than 20 Bay Area jobs for every $1 million it spends.

President Clinton greets students
Jan. 29
Former President Bill Clinton speaks on campus.

Feb. 6
Pro-Palestine students stage a protest on Sproul Plaza condemning Israeli actions. Pro-Israel students hold a silent demonstration nearby.
Feb. 7
In a speech sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Chancellor's Office, former Egyptian prime Minister Amre Moussa implores the United States to intervene in the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict.

Feb. 5
HESSI, a satellite built and operated by UC Berkeley, is launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral. The satellite goes on to capture never-before-seen detail of high-energy emissions from solar flares.
Feb. 11
Brazillian photographer Sebastião Salgado delivers a jam-packed campus lecture on his compelling photos of human migration, the subject of a major exhibit at the UC Berkeley Art Museum.







March 12
Letters with racial slurs and referencing white powder are received by several Latino organizations and Bay Area individuals. Three addresses on campus receive such letters.
March 14
Chancellor issues a statement condemning the letters.

Mummy awaits unloading

March 1

UC Berkeley’s Hearst Museum of Anthropology marks its centennial, spotlighting 100 years of collecting and research around the world.

March 10
Coach Ben Braun’s basketball team secures a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
March 13
UC Berkeley bioengineers develop a microlens – smaller than the period at the end of this sentence – that could provide views inside living cells.
April 2
Alarmed by increasing violence, UC’s Education Abroad Program calls students back from Israel.
April 3
Hillel members return from Passover to find broken windows and a slur against Jews written on Hillel property. Berdahl condemns acts of hate and calls for "reasoned, civil approaches to the resolution of conflict."
April 5
Berdahl holds a meeting with concerned Jewish and Arab faculty members about an upcoming pro-Palestine rally.
April 8
With Jewish students and supporters of a Palestinian state planning April 9 campus events, Berdahl issues a call for peace and "civil debate" on the Mideast
April 9
A Sproul Plaza rally by hundreds of Palestine supporters coincides with a Holocaust remembrance by Jewish students. Scores of pro-Palestine students and other activists occupy Wheeler Hall. Police cite and release 79 protesters, including 41 students, for misdemeanor trespassing; six of them also are cited for resisting arrest. One man is arrested and jailed for biting a police officer.
April 17
Members of the Jewish Student Union celebrate Israeli Independence Day on Sproul Plaza. Nearby, Students for Justice in Palestine exhibits Palestinian children’s artwork.



April 24
Students for Justice in Palestine is temporarily suspended as a registered student group while the Student Judicial Affairs Office investigates the April 9 protest. The action means SJP can’t hold rallies or set up a table on Sproul Plaza. Campus officials say the group disrupted classes and interfered with the campus’s academic mission. Arrested students may face criminal and student disciplinary charges and suspension.
April 26
Dean of Students Karen Kenney issues a statement clarifying that, while SJP has been temporarily suspended as a registered student group, its members — and all students — retain the right to free speech.
Chancellor attends services and dines at Hillel during Shabbat. In a formal address, he discusses community concerns about anti-Semitism on campus.
April 29
Defying its temporary suspension, SJP sets up an information table on Sproul Plaza and posts signs proclaiming the cause of Palestinian freedom. SJP is warned it could face further disciplinary action.












April 9
Cal swimmer Natalie Coughlin, breaking one world record after another all season long, is one of five finalists for the Sullivan Award, honoring the nation’s top amateur athlete.


Science principles demonstrated


April 20
Some 35,000 flock to campus for the annual Cal Day open house.

April 23
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and acclaimed dancer Mark Morris team up with Cal Performances for the world premiere of Silk Road,a work reflecting the flow of cultural ideas between Europe and Asia.
May 1
Chancellor issues an open letter explaining why UC Berkeley has temporarily suspended SJP’s campus privileges.



May 7
Student Judicial Affairs office formally admonishes SJP for the April 9 occupation of Wheeler Hall and the disruption of classes. SJP’s privileges as a registered student group are reinstated.
May 9
The Wall Street Journal runs a guest commentary on "The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance," a Fall 2002 English course at UC Berkeley. The course's graduate student instructor, an SJP leader, said in the course description that 'conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections.' UC Berkeley officials launch a review of how the course received approval and pledge open access to it.
Says Berdahl, "It is imperative that our classrooms be free of indoctrination."
May 17
Replying in a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, Berdahl details how UC Berkeley will ensure free and open discussion in the class.
May 21
Administrators issue a statement further detailing plans for fairness in the disputed English course, and clarify campus rules governing academic integrity, discrimination and the supervision of graduate student instructors. Fact sheet on the class
May 22
UC’s Education Abroad Program drops two students, one from UC Berkeley, for violating the university’s conduct rules for students studying abroad. According to media reports, the students were in an Israeli prison after entering Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity during a siege by Israeli troops.


May 3
The Center for the Development of Peace and Well-being, dedicated to researching how people overcome conflict and adversity, is launched at UC Berkeley.
May 5
Men’s rugby team brings home a national title.





May 9
President Bush announces that two UC Berkeley scientists - Marvin Cohen and Gabor Somarjai - are among 15 recipients of the National Medal of Science.



May 17
Commencement Convocation is held at the Greek Theater. Olympic gold medal skier Johnny Moseley is the keynote speaker, Alan Dundes gives the faculty address, and senior Shayna Parekh receives the University Medal.






Softball winners celebrateMay 27
The women of Cal’s softball team are surprise NCAA national champions, beating a favored Arizona team that was long on experience and winning tradition.









June 4
Students for Justice in Palestine and several faculty members hold a press conference on campus asking UC faculty members to sign a petition calling on UC to divest from companies doing business in Israel.

June 7
The campus's Student Judicial Affairs Office sends letters to individual students involved in the April 9 Wheeler Hall occupation, alerting them that they have been charged with violating the Code of Student Conduct. This follows an April 18 letter informing the students that an investigation was underway and could lead to charges.

Work is completed on two major planning activities: the "UC Berkeley Strategic Academic Plan" and "The New Century Plan." The first identifies new academic initiatives and outlines growth for the next decade; the second is a strategic plan for capital investment to meet the physical needs of the campus and its programs. Each is the culmination of several years’ work.
Technology Review magazine names three UC Berkeley scientists among its 100 top young innovators of the year, for their "contributions in transforming the nature of technology."
June 1
Men's crew team wins the national title.





June 13
Campus celebrates the completion of upgrades and seismic retrofits for Barrows, Latimer and Hildebrand halls and the Samuel L. Silver Space Sciences Laboratory. All are now safer and better equipped – and all were completed on time and on budget.
After 15 years of observation, UC Berkeley planet-hunter Geoffrey W. Marcy and his colleagues discover a Jupiter-like planet orbiting a sun-like star, in a solar system very much like our own.
June 20
Doe LibraryUC Berkeley boasts the top-ranked library among public universities in North America and is No. 3 overall, behind Harvard and Yale, according to the latest annual rankings from the Association of Research Libraries.



July 31
Berkeley alumna Marla Bennett, a May 2000 political science graduate, is among seven people killed in a bombing at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A campus memorial service for Bennett is held Sept. 3 at the Hillel Jewish Student Center.
July 1
Supporters of UC Berkeley contribute more than $240 million in private gifts to the campus, the second largest fund-raising year in campus history.
For later events, see the 2002-2003 chronology