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Friday, March 1, 2024

Promise for Education: What promise?

As the six-week campaign known as Promise for Education draws to an end, there have been mixed reviews regarding the effectiveness of the program. Promise for Education is an attempt to raise money for UC scholarship funds.

The program is a crowd-sourced fundraiser which allows people to pledge a promise of their choice if their funding goal is met. Then, through social media, those who have promised can attempt to raise funds.

The promises range from impressive to, well let’s just say, lackluster. UC Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake has one of the better promises: he promises to lead a cycling tour of Irvine and host a post-ride reception for all who donate.

He has raised $18,000 which surpassed his goal by $8,000. Such unique and interesting promises are great ways of getting those who may not necessarily be affiliated with the UC system to donate.

However, a large amount of promises seem to be uncreative and generally useless. For example, one student promised to have the “best senior year ever.”

Furthermore, even though this is helping the ASUCD scholarship fund, some members haven’t even come close to reaching their goals.

We appreciate that people are willing to try and make a difference. However, such promises really don’t further the cause as they offer no incentive for others to donate, depicted by the lack of donations many have received.

One person who could definitely make a bigger impact is Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. Her promise to work as an employee at the Coffee House when she raises $5,000 is an interesting idea.

But, if the purpose of this program is to raise money, Chancellor Katehi should put her money where her mouth is. Instead of simply working as an employee, she could also match any offers up to the $5,000 goal. After all, what good is a $400,000 base salary if you can’t donate to a good cause?

Any effort to raise money for the UC system — especially for scholarship funds — is a good idea. But we question whether the actual program will be successful and whether it is the best form of fundraising.

For example, there are currently 213,626 living UC Davis alumni. If each of them were to donate $0.50 to the UC system, UC Davis would raise $106,813 — which is almost $67,000 more than UC Davis’ current goal.

Promise for Education is definitely a step in the right direction. However, we believe that the execution of the program has been far from stellar.


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