Monthly Archives: March 2020

In the quarantine bunker: Days 1-3

Hello world! I’m a clone, and right now I’m being tested for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. I’ve heard some of you are interested in what happens after you take the test. In brief the test is a mouth swab and a lot of waiting. I’m afraid you’ll have to go elsewhere to hear about the mouth swab. I’ll tell you about the waiting.

Most of my time is simply spent sitting alone and thinking. For me that isn’t much of a change from normal. I’m usually at Cloyne stressed about people, thinking on how to help them or at least not inconvenience them, often to a fault. The room I’ve been moved to is quite still. Since I’m the only one here there isn’t anyone to accidentally be rude to, and I can just exist in a quite relaxing way. While here, away from other people, I’ve been free to think about how I’m doing, the sorts of ever present stresses I’ve been carrying, how feeling bad about myself had become so constant that just feeling okay throughout the day was almost foreign, and having to face head on the thoughts of “how bad do I have to be doing before I drop out for a semester?”

There are a lot of paintings on the walls that aren’t quite done. Looking at the style they seem to be from the same person. I’m not sure who the previous resident who did them was. But I think I understand them in some degree. They finished the broad strokes of the room. But almost all the detailed parts were not quite finished. Like they started the semester with the energy and desire to do something out of the joyous energy of wanting to create something. But as time went on, things weighed down on them more, and they were never quite able to finish.

I hope they are doing okay.

A green background with the outline of an unfinished flower, that has some pencil sketches and remains of blue tape in the white negative space the flower should occupy.
Unfinished Flower
A red balloon on a green background, surrounded by simple flowers, with the string behind the words "Pretty Balloon" also in red.
Pretty Balloon

COLA Statement in Solidarity

Endorsed by Cloyne Council on 3/8/2020, 36 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining

To Chancellor Christ and UC Board of Regents,

Several months ago, graduate students at UC Santa Cruz and across the UC system began making demands for a COLA (cost of living adjustment). As students of UC Berkeley and members of Cloyne Court (a Berkeley Student Cooperative house), we write this letter in collective solidarity with all graduate students fighting for a living wage adjustment. In an area in which the cost of housing has soared and thus become unattainable for so many low-income people and racial minorities, we stand united as one in support of all graduate students, faculty, staff, and community members committed to striking for a COLA. As members of a tenant-owned housing cooperative, we know that the unsustainable market rate does not reflect the true cost of maintaining housing, but is instead the result of speculation-driven profiteering. We know that paying graduate students a living wage is only a drop in the bucket of the overall UC budget, and we reject the notion that the money is not there.

On Friday, March 6, Chancellor Christ wrote a letter to the graduate student community in which she expressed an unwillingness to concede to the demands for a COLA for all. Chancellor Christ’s message to the graduate student community was inadequate, given her refusal to acknowledge the basic needs of graduate students in addition to her failure to disclose how the UC has come to this decision. We believe that her response that the university has plans to build an additional 105 bed-spaces over several years is insulting to all students, especially given that there are at least 12,000 graduate students on campus. We therefore ask that the UC negotiate with student-workers in good faith to 1.) provide a COLA for every graduate student, regardless of residence, visa, documentation, employment, or funding status, without raising tuition or campus fees; 2.) reinstate the employment contracts of all graduate students at UCSC and drop all threats of retaliation; 3.) agree to the demands of COLA organizers to ensure that all students at UC Berkeley and beyond basic needs are met, including but not limited to shelter and food; 4.) demilitarize, disarm, and defund the campus police.


Cloyne Court

BSC Housing Cooperative