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Davis, California

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Campaign for ‘no confidence’ vote up for discussion today

Students unsure of their confidence in UC President Mark Yudof and the UC Regents will have the opportunity this afternoon to hear the main reasons whether to vote “no confidence” in UC leadership.

The ASUCD Elections Committee (EC) will host a forum to discuss tomorrow’s special election today from noon until 1 p.m. in the Garrison Room of the Memorial Union. The special election was called after a group of students collected signatures in support of resolutions that would state that UC Davis students have no confidence in the leadership of both Yudof and the regents.

“A lot of students already know about the basic issues, such as the 32 percent fee increase,” said Brian Sparks, campaign organizer and senior international relations major. “But if you put a ballot in front of these students, they might need more of a discussion to lead them to vote no confidence.”

Though no opponents of the resolutions have come forward to debate those in favor of the no confidence vote, The California Aggie Opinion Editor, Jeremy Ogul, will moderate questions for the forum. Sparks will answer questions and lead discussion.

“The UC system is at a point where they honestly can advance far ahead of other public schools all across the country, thus the solution shouldn’t be to cut more programs,” said David Turkell, a sophomore international relations major. “We need a leading body of officials that understands that concept, not just people who want to preserve the status-quo.”

In response to the suggestion that students do not have confidence in the leadership of the UC, spokesperson Steve Montiel admitted that although students may not always agree with the decisions made by UC, their financial situation nonetheless required that these decisions be made.

“Tough, painful and admittedly unpopular decisions have been required, and anger at fee increases and furloughs is understandable,” Montiel said in an e-mail interview. “But it would be a dereliction of duty to avoid making decisions in this crisis with an eye toward winning popularity contests.”

Some also believe that the resolutions do not include the belief that the California State Legislature is partially to blame for the decline of public university funding.

“The resolutions have a lack of culpability of the State Legislature,” said Eli Yani, a junior political science major. “State funding for the UC dropped to 6 percent of the state’s general fund this year. That’s privatization right there.”

Yani added that the timing of the resolution might be unwise, since the quarter is so near its end.

“When [students] get their ‘no confidence’ statement, school will be over and they won’t be able to mobilize any further,” he said. “Plus it’s almost the summer recess of the state legislature, so any hope of making an impact there is lost.”

Polls will open on the EC’s website Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. and close Friday at 8 a.m. The resolutions with the official language can be viewed and voted on at elections.ucdavis.edu. The EC will announce the results of the election on Friday at noon on the website. Once the vote is determined, it stands on its own without need for further officiating, said EC Chair Nick Sidney.

LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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