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SJSU_march.JPGSan Jose State University was embroiled in controversy last fall when news surfaced that an African-American student had allegedly been subjected to racially charged harassment by four white roommates, including being nicknamed "Three-fifths," as slaves were counted for census purposes, and having a bicycle lock fastened around his neck.

The incident led to a $5 million claim against the university by the student and to the creation of the Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate in January to explore issues of diversity, tolerance and student safety at California's public colleges and universities.

The committee, chaired by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, and including a bipartisan roster of 14 other members, will hold its first meeting at 12:30 p.m. at San Jose State's Morris Dailey Auditorium. The university's president, Mohammad Qayoumi, is scheduled to testify, as are students and faculty from other Bay Area schools, local law enforcement and several anti-discrimination groups.

SWITCHING TRACKS: With California pushing to graduate more college students faster, the state community college system has been developing a new degree program that would ease transfers to a California State University campus. Colleen Moore, a higher education researcher at Sacramento State, discusses the effectiveness of the program at a talk sponsored by Public Policy Institute of California, noon at the CSAC Conference Center on 11th Street.

READY TO RIDE: As transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft soar in popularity, the state and federal government face mounting questions over how to regulate them. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones leads an informational hearing on insuring this growing industry at 1 p.m. in Room 112 of the Capitol.

ACA-NNIVERSARY: The fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act is this weekend, so Health Access has released a report on implementation efforts in California, including pending legislation such as SB 1005, which would extend health care subsidies to undocumented immigrants.

TEACHER'S LOUNGE: The California Federation of Teachers holds its annual convention in Manhattan Beach this weekend. State Attorney General Kamala Harris is scheduled to deliver the keynote address on Saturday morning and state Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, will be honored.

NEW JOB: Welcome back to Amanda Fulkerson, who joined the office of the Assembly Republican Caucus this week as press secretary. Before a stint as chief communications officer for Las Vegas' school district, she worked in the Capitol as chief of staff to former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado.

CELEBRATIONS: An early happy birthday to state Sens. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, who turns 41 on Saturday, and Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, who turns 45 on Saturday.

PHOTO: Champagne Ellison, left, a senior at San Jose State University, marches Nov. 21, 2013 in a protest over reported racial hazing of an African-American freshman by his dormitory roommates. San Jose Mercury News/Karl Mondon


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