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2002-2003 Chronology: Tension and tolerance at UC Berkeley

For earlier events, see the 2001-2002 chronology

Aug. 11, 2002
Pedro A. Sanchez, a pioneer in the field of tropical soils and agroforestry at the University of California, Berkeley, is the 2002 winner of the World Food Prize. The award is the highest international honor bestowed upon an individual for achievements in improving the world's food supply and reducing hunger.
Aug. 26-28
Clerical workers stage a three-day strike on the Berkeley campus; lecturers join in the final day of the strike. Most classes and business functions of the University continue with minimal disruptions.
Aug. 31
Coming off a disappointing 1-10 season, the Golden Bears begin the Jeff Tedford era with a bang, crushing Baylor 70-22 in the season opener at Memorial Stadium.
Sept. 11
More than a dozen events are held across campus to reflect on the anniversary of 9/11/01 and honor all of those who died in the terrorist attacks that day. Highlights include a campuswide moment of silence, a meditative concert at Hertz Hall, and a series of student events on Sproul Plaza that culminates with a candlelight vigil in which more than 1,000 people gather and listen to contemplative musical performances.


Aug. 19
Welcome Week begins as students return to Berkeley for the 2002-2003 school year to find more available housing, ongoing construction projects and a host of new classes examining the aftermath of September 11 from a variety of perspectives.


Aug. 29
English R1A class "The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance," a source of controversy in the spring, holds its first session; 17 students are enrolled.


Sept. 5
A story in the California Patriot, a conservative student journal, suggests that organizers of the campus's 9/11 anniversary events plan to ban expressions of patriotism at the student-organized memorial events on Sproul Plaza. Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl holds a press conference denouncing such reports.
Sept. 13
The Muslim Student Association holds a lecture and prayer service, extending a special invitation to the entire campus community to attend.


Sept. 30
Student conduct hearings begin for students who face charges stemming from their April 9 protests at Wheeler Hall. (In all, 41 students occupied the academic building and refused police orders to leave.) Outside the first hearing, supporters of the accused students rally to demand that the conduct charges be dropped.


Oct. 15
Dennis Ross, U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace with the Clinton and first Bush administrations, speaks at Wheeler Hall auditorium before a near-capacity crowd. Ross shared his thoughts on the continuing search for peace in the region. The visit was organized by Berkeley Hillel, the Jewish student organization, and the Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay, along with support from the chancellor's office.
Oct. 9
The university voluntarily agrees to temporarily suspend the student conduct cases until an Alameda County Superior Court judge rules in late October on a related legal matter. Attorneys for the students facing student conduct charges are seeking a court order to limit arrest-related evidence presented at the conduct hearings.
For earlier events, see the 2001-2002 chronology