During the UC Regents meeting this week a group of students from UC Riverside under the name “Fix UC” are proposing the UC Student Investment Proposal, a model aimed at reforming the current financial system of the University of California.
The plan proposes that students defer their tuition until they get a steady job, when they will give five percent of their income, interest-free, to the UC for 20 years. Originally developed by the editorial board at UC Riverside’s campus paper, The Highlander, and their student government, the conceptual basis of the proposal as well as its subsequent development has been entirely student-led.
The need for a complete reform of the UC system is obvious. The disinvestment of the state in higher education and the severe tuition hikes that have resulted over the past several years have affected all students.
Begrudgingly bearing the load of these fee hikes, many have held on to the hope that tuition increases would be temporary and that the UC Regents would take the necessary measures to improve the UC financial system.
While it is unfortunate that the regents have so far failed us in this regard, it is encouraging to see students take measures into their own hands and think creatively about how to restructure the current UC system.
The plan is the first major and comprehensive plan that has come entirely from UC students and can become a catalyst for the creation of other student-developed ideas. Proposals for reform that come directly from those invested in higher education rather than from a group of seemingly detached businesspeople is certainly a step in the right direction for the future of the UC system.
For the most part students have largely used protests and rallies as tactics to express concern over the current financial state of the UC and rally support for their cause. While movements of these types are certainly important, it is imperative that students demonstrate to the state and to the regents not only their anger, but also their determination and ability to enact real change.
We applaud the students at UC Riverside for being among the first to develop an alternate tuition system. Now it is time for UC Davis students to come up with a plan of their own. We are looking for more localized plans. Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.