Friday, September 18, 2009

First Day Message for Students

We want you to know that we are fighting against proposed changes to the UC system that would have a negative effect on students and on the quality of education.

1) We have called into question the recent increase in student fees and the possibility of an additional increase. While we do recognize that the state cut the UC budget by $812 million, we also know that the total budget is $20 billion, and there are over $50 billion in the UC investment and pension portfolios.

2) We do not think that the UC needs to reduce course offerings, increase class sizes, and eliminate teachers and classes. We believe that the UC President needs to fight for more state funding, but we also know that in the short-term, there is enough money in the system to prevent drastic reductions in educational quality.

3) To help fight for the students and the value of public higher education, we are protesting against the university’s recent move against the core principle of shared governance. Too many decisions are being imposed from above, and students and faculty have not been given their proper role in the decision-making process.

4) We plan to work with students and other groups to force the UC system to have a more transparent and fair budgetary system, and we feel that everyone suffers when faculty and staff are forced to take unpaid days off.

5) We also believe that the UC President is hurting undergraduate and graduate education in order to force the state to fund the UC at a higher level. While we support this need for better funding, we do not think that the students and the faculty should be sacrificed in this effort, and we reject all student fee increases.

Students and faculty need to become educated about how the UC system works, and what agendas are being promoted in the contemplated restructuring of the UC system. Since we are all committed to education, we need to learn about how decisions are made and who wins and who loses when funds are shifted. Please come to our rally on September 24t and show your support for students, faculty, and UC employees. We can make UC the university we want it to be. The UC does not have a budget crisis; it has a crisis in priorities. We can change these priorities if we work together.


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