Campus Newsletter Manufactures Consent

Editor:

While many of the services mentioned in the fee referendum would be great, the referendum is the wrong way to bring those services about.

The university and other corporations (for example, fast food chains) stand to make substantial profits from the expansions suggested. What is going to happen with those profits? Since we have paid in full for the construction of the place, shouldn’t the university’s profits (and percentages of the stores’ profits) go toward reducing the student fees once construction is completed? Not only am I disappointed with the content of the referendum, but I am incensed by the costly and deceptive way it is being promoted by the University Centers Advisory Board.

For example, what a glorious coincidence that two weeks before the vote, the University Centers Marketing Department released the very first issue of its eight-page “”newsletter,”” Centerpiece. In fact, Centerpiece is nothing more than a thinly veiled advertisement promoting the fee hike. The only reason Centerpiece was not marked “”advertisement”” in bold letters is because it was deceptively marketed as an informative newsletter for students.

Perhaps worse than mislabeled propaganda, there are people who are actively suppressing the views of the opposition. Last Monday night, walking through the Price Center, I saw at least 20 signs posted bringing up reasons to vote “”No”” on the fee hike. The next morning, walking to class, I noticed that the signs had all been removed, but about the same number of “”Vote Yes”” signs had mysteriously appeared in their place!

Because UCAB is so desperately trying to manufacture student consent by controlling access to information about the referendum, we students should be extremely suspicious of this fee. We should not only be suspicious, but insulted because the University of California is blithely ignoring the fact that for the past two years, similar referendums failed to pass in campuswide elections!

Many similar issues are raised at http://www.freeucsd.org. Vote “”No”” on the administration’s unwarranted fee hike.

— Eric Thomson

Graduate student, Department of Neuroscience

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