Student Says Advisor Used Racial Epithet
UC Berkeley Daily Californian
Nov. 14, 2005
A UC Berkeley student accused an academic advisor of using a racial slur last month during a heated exchange outside the West Berkeley apartment building where they both live.
Speaking to more than 200 students at a campus forum on race Thursday, sophomore Erika Williams said Sherman Boyson, the undergraduate advisor in the School of Social Welfare, called her a “nigger” in October during a confrontation outside the apartment complex.
Boyson confirmed he said the word but said it was used in an “indirect” manner, after Williams called him a “fat fuck.”
Boyson, who was named an “everyday hero” in a recent undergraduate survey conducted by UC Berkeley, said he delivered a written apology to Williams days after the altercation.
“He attacked my gender, he attacked my race, my heritage – the two things that I could never change about myself,” Williams said.
Boyson said he was apologetic and only used the term in retaliation after Williams insulted his appearance.
“I never should have used it, even indirectly,” Boyson said. “I know on my part I made a mistake and I apologized.”
Boyson said he only learned Williams was a student after the October incident. Afterward, he contacted supervisors in the Social Welfare Dept. to inform them of what happened.
Boyson said there has not been a hearing with university officials and that he has not received word of any disciplinary action.
“I’m unfamiliar with the situation and I’ll have to check,” UC Berkeley spokeswoman Marie Felde said. “Certainly the campus takes these things seriously.”
Thousands Approve Call for Special Election
UC San Diego The Guardian
Nov. 14, 2005
Associated Students of UCSD President Christopher Sweeten said he plans to push through a petition signed by more than 2,600 UCSD students protesting a nudity ban on Student-Run Television (SRTV), despite opposition from several members of the A.S. UCSD Council.
The signatures, gathered by UCSD John Muir College senior Steve York, UCSD Earl Warren College senior Daniel Watts and several representatives of SRTV, were presented to Sweeten at the Nov. 9 council meeting.
As stated in the A.S. Council’s constitution, a minimum of 10 percent of the student body must sign the petition, which would force a special election within 15 academic days of the document’s submission to the council. The petition could give students the opportunity to vote on whether to overturn the council’s decision to ban graphic depictions of nudity on the station and to prohibit York from entering SRTV premises.
However some council members are questioning the validity of the signatures, which include the student names and colleges, as well as the special election.
“I have a hard time believing 2,600 students want to see Steve York have sex,” former interim Vice President External Samantha Peterson said at the council meeting.
Earlier this fall, York broadcast a porn with the face of UCSD Thurgood Marshall College senior Senator Kate Pillon, who spoke out against York’s previous pornographic shows, superimposed on the actress’ face. York maintained that he had the right to broadcast “political” commentary, which he said he felt his segment reflected.
“We cannot forget what happened to Kate,” Peterson said. “It is not OK. It is not excusable. That’s totally offensive and totally not OK.”
The first step toward holding a special election would require Sweeten to hire an A.S. elections manager. Applications are currently ready to be distributed. Although it is too early to guarantee that the council can hold the vote by the deadline, Muir College Council chair Neil Spears said, its importance is too large to ignore.
“If we ignore 2,600 people, we are one step toward a tyrannical government,” he said. “What kind of democratic government ignores its own people? If we do not hold this election, we’ll be completely going down the wrong path. We’ve already been painted as a body that votes on our own morals. Well, what would it look like if we stopped this election?”
In addition, Spears announced that he, along with several other council members, would still push for a referendum to put the vote on the spring ballot if this election is not held.
Medical Center Rocked by Scandal
UC Irvine The New University
Nov. 14, 2005
The UCI Medical Center (UCIMC) in Orange, Calif., voluntarily shut down its Liver Transplant Program indefinitely last Friday after the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rescinded its certification and decided to stop funding liver transplants at UCI.
The CMS action stems from an investigation into UCIMC revealing that the hospital failed to meet many federal standards established for transplant centers.
The most significant finding in the investigation was that the UCIMC had turned down over 100 offers for livers since last summer that could have saved the lives of those on the transplant waiting list. According to data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, 40 people have died at the UCIMC since 2003 while waiting for liver transplants.
UCI officials said they rejected the livers offered to them because of their poor quality, even though many of those rejected were subsequently accepted by other transplant centers. However, the CMS said the medical center rejected so many livers because it was understaffed.
The approximately 100 patients who were still on the UCIMC transplant waitlist have been transferred to waitlists at other hospitals in the Southern California region.
The CMS began an investigation into UCI’s program following a lawsuit by Elodie Irvine, a 51-year-old resident of Irvine, who was on the UCI waitlist for a liver transplant for over four years from 1998 to 2002. She transferred to another waitlist, where she received a liver after waiting only two months. It was revealed during the lawsuit that during Irvine’s years on the UCI waitlist, UCI turned down 38 livers offered for her.