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Berkeley Pauses Construction in People’s Park

August 4, 2022

The University of California, Berkeley, began a project in People’s Park Wednesday, but the university was forced “to pause construction work,” it said.

The university blamed “the destruction of construction materials, unlawful protest activity and violence on the part of some protesters” for the delay.

Further, the university said, “All construction personnel were withdrawn out of concern for their safety. In the course of preparing and planning for the start of construction, safety has been the university’s highest priority, and that remains the case now. In an effort to avoid further confrontation, law enforcement officers have also now withdrawn from the site. The campus will, in the days ahead, assess the situation in order to determine how best to proceed with construction of this urgently needed student housing project.”

The university won a court order last week that said it could start the project.

But Harvey Smith, president of the People’s Park Historic District Advocacy Group, told the Los Angeles Times that Berkeley shouldn’t have tried to start the project. “The legal remedies haven’t been exhausted,” he said, noting that his group had asked a court of appeal to halt construction Wednesday morning.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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