In a special election culminating Friday afternoon, a large majority of students placed their criticism on UC President Mark Yudof and the UC Regents.
Exactly 986 students voted that they don’t have confidence in UC President Mark Yudof, with 103 voting that they do have confidence. Twenty-five abstained. On a similar resolution declaring “no confidence” in the UC Board of Regents, 993 students voted in favor, 91 voted against and 26 abstained, according to the Elections Committee results.
“I don’t want to say that I’m happy about it because it sucks that we have such crappy leaders,” said Brian Sparks, senior international relations major. “But it’s good that students got their voices heard.”
Student campaigners began gathering signatures for the resolution’s petition earlier this month, collecting over 2,000 signatures of students who said they would be interested in voting.
In addition to this year’s 32 percent student fee increase, students cited a multitude of other organizational and managerial reasons for voting “no confidence.” For instance, many believe that Yudof and the regents hold positions on other boards that may lead them to make decisions marred by conflicts of interest.
Students also expressed concern that the administration’s growth exceeded that of the students and faculty. They also cited a Council of UC Faculty Association study, which claims that tuition dollars are being used as collateral for construction projects.
In response to the vote of “no confidence,” representatives from the UC Office of the President stated that though they are pleased to see students expressing their opinions in a democratic way, they are concerned about students’ perceptions of UC’s future.
“It’s disappointing … to see students propagating misinformation about ideas and recommendations presented to the UC Commission on the Future by working groups,” said Steve Monti el, UC spokesperson in an e-mail interview. “Rather than relying on superficial characterizations of the work of the commission and its working groups regarding student fees, students should take advantage of the transparency of this process and read the first round of recommendations made to the commission.”
The campaign leaders of the “no confidence” vote hope to send copies of the resolution to the UC Davis Academic Senate, a governing body at all UC campuses, which sends recommendations to the UC Regents. However, in initial contact made with the senate, Sparks said that it is unlikely that the senate will review the resolution.
He added, though, that other UC campuses are considering holding a similar election, such as UC Santa Cruz, but will probably begin collecting signatures in the fall. “[Further action] depends on what students want to do when they come back in the fall,” said Sparks, who will be graduating this quarter. “I think right now students are just going to study for finals and think about their summer vacations.”
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.