The Ivy Coach Daily

February 19, 2022

Rooting on Berkeley in Fight Against Busybody Residents

We firmly stand with Berkeley in the school’s fight against meddling residents of the surrounding neighborhood.

The mayor of Berkeley along with two members of the Berkeley City Council have penned a powerful op-ed in The Los Angeles Times asking the California Supreme Court to step in and stay a lower court order to freeze Cal’s enrollment for next year. As we detailed a few days ago, the UC flagship, mired in a high-stakes legal battle with Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, which is none too happy about overcrowding in the area which they attribute to the school’s student body, has been ordered by an appellate court to keep enrollment at 2020-2021 levels. As our loyal readers may remember, enrollment at the vast majority of elite universities was down significantly that academic year due to the number of students who took gap years as a result of the onset of the pandemic. The freeze would force UC Berkeley to turn away one out of every three undergrads who otherwise would have enrolled (or 5,100 offers of admission and 3,050 seats in the Class of 2026). So what do these Berkeley politicians have to say about all of this?

As Jesse Arreguín, Lori Droste, and Rigel Robinson write in a piece in The Los Angeles Times entitled “Don’t slam the door on the next generation of UC Berkeley students,” “UC Berkeley is often a launchpad for upward mobility, helping first-generation and lower-income Californians build livelihoods, forge personal and professional connections, all of which help many give back to their communities. In recent years, each new class of UC Berkeley students has been more diverse than the last, and more of its students receive federal aid through Pell Grants than at any campus in the Ivy League. For thousands of would-be students, a freeze on UC Berkeley enrollment would forever change the course of their lives. With $57 million in lost tuition, it would significantly impact the campus’ ability to serve students, and in turn have a domino effect, cutting into financial aid, the number and type of classes offered, student services and facilities maintenance. When fewer of our children are able to pursue higher education, we all lose out — our cities, our local businesses and the future of California.”

A compelling argument indeed. We hereby echo the call of these Berkeley politicians for California’s high court to issue a stay on the lower court ruling in short order. This ruling will adversely impact so many applicants to the UC Berkeley Class of 2026 and it will hurt the university for many years to come. Frankly, Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods sounds to us like a homeowner’s association with a little bit of power exercising it all the wrong ways. Heck, they market themselves as, “We are a group of Berkeley residents with a long history of local activism.” This rogue group should not have the power to dictate the futures of so many young people who dream of attending the UC flagship. May the California Supreme Court soon put the so-called Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, a group of persnickety residents with too much time on their hands, in their rightful place.

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