Domestic Partners Allowed Housing
The Daily Bruin
UCLA housing services changed its policy that excluded domestic same-sex partners from university-owned housing earlier this month, following UC President Richard Atkinson’s announcement clarifying eligibility rules for family student housing.
Gay, bisexual and transgender members of the UCLA community and the Graduate Student Association lobbied several years to change the policy, which GSA President Charles Harless said discouraged students from coming to UCLA after they were refused family student housing.
“We’re losing some graduate students because of this issue, which is a very easy thing that can be fixed,” he said.
On Feb. 7, UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale approved the policy amendments, which state that couples with dependent children and single parents can receive priority status.
Berkeley City Council Avoids UC Lawsuit
The Daily Californian
The Berkeley City Council and UC Berkeley have been disputing a plan for the past couple months that would expand the northeastern part of campus, which has raised several health and housing concerns.
Council member Kriss Worhington said the council is preparing for a lawsuit but has not given up on negotiations. The council claims that Berkeley’s Long Range Development Plan does not account for the plans, which would replace two halls and eliminate tennis courts and a skateboarding facility, among other construction.
The regents approved the Environmental Impact Report for the expansion plan in early January.
Local neighbors worry the university expansion will cause traffic problems and biohazards from research. The council is concerned with the size of the project.
“Pretty soon [the university] will dwarf the city,” council member Polly Armstrong told the Daily Cal. “While we treasure the university, we don’t want Berkeley to become the university.”
Council members also questioned the increased student enrollment as a result of university expansion.
“The top priority of any university should be housing, which is already an urgent need,” he said. “The university has raised millions of dollars – why can’t they raise that much money for student housing?”
Exotic Pet Craze Endangers Species
The Daily Californian
UC Berkeley professor Steven Bessinger found in a recent study that certain exotic species are affected by the high demand for them as pets.
In his study, Bessinger said trappings affect 39 of the 90 endangered parrot species, which can be sold for as much as $10,000. “It’s a very lucrative business,” he said.
Craig Hoover of the wildlife-monitoring agency Traffic Network said illegal trade affects 800 endangered species and that over-harvesting of African tortoise species is mainly connected to trade.
Exotic pets can pose a threat to their owners, said Alan Green, an author who has written about animal trafficking.
“Macaque monkeys are very popular pets, and 90 percent carry herpes B,” he said.