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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Katehi serves coffee at CoHo

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi delivered service with a smile at the ASUCD Coffee House (CoHo) on Monday as part of her participation in the University of California (UC) crowdfunding effort, Promise for Education.

In the midst of funding cuts and financial difficulties last fall, UC launched its first crowdfunding platform to raise scholarship funds for undergraduate students. In a call to anyone who was interested in the cause and willing to help, UC recruited people to make promises that they would fulfill once a certain amount of money was donated.

Those who wanted to participate made their promises, set with a donation goal and got the ball rolling. The fundraiser ran for six weeks leading up to Oct. 31. One thousand promises were set, 3,900 contributions were made and over $3.1 million was raised.

Educators, celebrities, students and more made promises ranging from the silly to the strenuous. Katehi promised to serve coffee at the CoHo if the goal of $5,000 was reached and host a VIP Greek Gala if $10,000 was raised. Both goals were exceeded, and, on Monday, Katehi strapped on an apron and got to work.

“She caught on pretty quickly,” said Chris Greene, a fifth-year human development major and CoHo worker. “The first thing she made was a cappuccino foam, which is one of the hardest drinks to make. It was really surprising because for her first time she did really well.”

Though not everyone knew why Katehi was working at the CoHo, many students responded positively to seeing her there.

“I didn’t know it was going to happen,” said Cammile Gunsauls, a fourth-year design major. “I didn’t know this was why she was here, but that’s really cool.”

Students noted the fact that this was a rare opportunity to interact so closely with the chancellor.

“I’ve only seen her at big rallies,” said Chris Miller, a first-year Japanese major. “She’s been sort of a distant figure so it’s cool that she’s sort of coming down to the student level. I think it’s awesome that she’s following through on a promise, because so many higher officials don’t do that.”

The $10,000 goal set by Katehi was exceeded by the end of the fundraiser. All money raised goes into the general scholarship pool for undergraduate UC students who qualify for financial aid.

According to the Promise for Education website, the state currently covers 39 percent of a UC student’s education, a significant drop from the 78 percent it used to cover. This is due in part to a $900 million cut in state funding received by UC in the past five years.

“Last year, for the first time ever, students and their families shouldered a bigger share of the cost of their public education than the state,” stated the Promise for Education website. “And with that shift comes growing questions about the value of a college education.”

With many students unable to afford to attend the universities that they are qualified to attend, extra financial aid can make the difference.

“About one-third of tuition revenue is put aside for financial aid,” said Dianne Klein, spokesperson for UC. “We are looking under every rock and around every corner to raise more money. [The fundraiser] increased the money we have to give to students who need financial assistance.”

As participants in the Promise for Education fundraiser continue to fulfill their promises, UC will continue to initiate innovative fundraising campaigns.

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