Our challenge, our future
The legislators in Sacramento have cut funding to the University of California by $1.15 billion over the past two years. This means the university will change. We are saving money by cutting expenses: reducing teaching and research equipment, finding administrative efficiencies, furloughing employees, hiring fewer professors and lowering student enrollment. The university is also increasing income by raising student fees, entering into corporate sponsorships and expanding fundraising efforts.
All solutions have consequences. Cutting expenditures erodes the quality of education and makes the UC less accessible. Increasing income means higher student fees, greater access for corporate sponsors and students driven into debt financing their public education.
The best solution must combine cost-saving and income-generating strategies so the university continues fulfilling its mission of education, research and service.
We, the students, the leaders of tomorrow, must claim our future today. First, we must make the governor, the legislators and the voting citizens of California understand that the UC system, higher education and primary education are California’s future. We are the future of this state and if we are crippled, California is crippled. We cannot allow our representatives to devalue education. March to their doorsteps in Sacramento, write them letters, call them, send them e-mails. Tell them to vote for education.
Second, demand that President Mark Yudof and the UC Board of Regents do everything to secure more state funding. Demand that as state funding is restored, student fees are reduced. Also, demand that Yudof and the regents are transparent and that they tell us the details of how they are spending our money. And last but certainly not least, demand that the quality of a UC education is maintained.
As we step to this challenge, we must act with determination, we must act with resolve and we must do so with composure and intelligence. Tell our decision makers what impact their misguided decisions are having on us, education and the future of this great state.
California must hear us – so protest with direction. Focus on making the government fund public education, give voice to the impact of fees, demand transparency in the UC budget, enroll our families, friends and colleagues to stand up and fight for the future of California.
The time is now.
A declaration from those arrested inside Mrak Hall
I write as one of the 52 people arrested at Mrak Hall on Thursday. Fifty-one of the arrests were made inside the building, while one woman – who was brutalized by the police in front of witnesses and cameras, and remains charged with battery and resisting arrest – was arrested outside.
I do not represent this group in any way, nor does anyone else. But we share a political commitment. We also share, I believe, a commitment to collective action and to solidarity.
As a result, those arrested inside have co-written a declaration about what happened that day. It belongs to none of us individually; it had meaning to the extent that we exist as a unified group.
In my understanding, it is meant to serve as a clarification for concerned members of the campus community and beyond. It is also meant as a retort to the condescension and disingenuous statements of Chancellor Linda Katehi and others – particularly those who militarized the campus, and authorized the presence of several police forces, tactical gear, police dogs and a helicopter for an non-violent action by unarmed people.
Because The California Aggie’s policy will not recognize a collective author such as the “Mrak 51,” and instead insists on the authority of individual names, The Aggie has declined to print our declaration. It can be read in full, along with much other information, at http://ouruniversity.wordpress.com.
Associate professor, English
‘Sustainability’ theme is UC greenwashing
Is it sustainable to have a top-heavy administration so costly and yet so focused on money that it feels it’s necessary to “save” money and their jobs by cutting education? Is it sustainable to remove real programs that make contributions to environmental awareness and the lessening of our community’s impact on the planet?
The administration seems to think it’s “sustainable” to create a new administrative office of sustainability for more high-paid administrators while cutting student and entry-level positions at the award-winning R4 recycling program.
It also seems to think taking out unpayable loans on behalf of the student cooperatives through Student Housing is a good way to go about closing these 100-plus-year-old houses that have served students exploring low-impact life styles for over 40 years.
Talk about “sustainable.” Cutting entire departments that focus on environmental education is a great way to “save” money on education, and UC administrators seem to think that they are doing their job. After all, why should a university pay to teach students when it’s earning interest making loans to the state of California? Why not just call yourself “sustainable” instead of owning up to the fact that UC Davis is Yolo County’s No. 1 polluter?
UC Davis recently cut some of its best sustainability programs:
1. Affordable, on-campus cooperative housing with the Davis Student Cooperative.
2. The Nature and Culture program, which provided valuable environmental education.
3. The Campus Zero Waste program, which has been sliced to bits.
4. Independent majors, many of which have been environmentally focused.
Don’t believe the hype.
UC Davis alumnus