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Reading Roundup: Chancellor, Gig Life, Animal Videos, Immigration

March 16, 2017

The Health of the Gig Economy

Living that gig life isn’t always easy. The repeal of Obamacare would likely mean more challenges for the state’s many independent workers who aren’t entitled to health coverage through their work, according to a UC Berkeley Labor Center study. 

“A February study from the UC Berkeley Labor Center found that about 25 percent of restaurant and food service workers could lose coverage in the event of a federal health law repeal, as could 22 percent of auto mechanics, hair stylists and people classified in the study’s “other services” category. Businesses employing fewer than 50 people are not required by current law to insure their employees, and larger businesses must insure only their full-time workers.”

Read more at the Sacramento Bee>>

Christ’s Second Coming

Carol T. Christ / UC Berkeley

On Thursday, the UC regents confirmed former Smith College chancellor Carol T. Christ (rhymes with “wrist”) as Cal’s chancellor, making her the first ever woman to hold the position. She has a lot of issues to tackle in her first year, including a multi-million dollar deficit and the student housing crunch. 

“Christ, 72, will take the helm July 1, succeeding Nicholas Dirks, who announced his resignation last year following widespread criticism over his handling of sexual misconduct scandals, the budget deficit and his leadership style. Christ has been widely hailed by faculty, staff and students for her open, collaborative style.”

Read more at the LA Times>>


Queue Up The Cute Sloths

You can feel a little less guilty about binging on cute animal videos. A recent study from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and the BBC Worldwide Global Insight Team found that watching natural history content can reduce stress and boost feelings of happiness.

“Knowing that engagement with nature generally and Planet Earth content specifically has been shown to generate positive improvements in feelings of wellbeing, the secondary objective of this study is to describe the nature of ‘real happiness’ – happiness that is comprised of emotions that are known to contribute to positive impacts on individuals’ health and wellbeing, which this study argues are caused distinctly by the natural history genre.”

Read more at BBC Earth>>


Solving Illegal Immigration

Cal alum Sonia Nazario—a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of Enrique’s Journey, perhaps one of the most widely read contemporary books about immigration—schools us on why U.S. immigration policies have been thus far ineffective, and proposes a radical alternative in her recent TEDX talk. 

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