Chancellors neglect UCSD students

    wo weeks ago, UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale held his quarterly “”office hour”” with five randomly chosen students. They were each given 10 minutes to express all of their concerns about the university. Of course, since these five students went to UCLA, their complaints were relatively benign, ranging from “”I can¹t always get my meal tickets”” to “”the film program here is somewhat difficult.””

    Shawn No/Guardian

    Ten minutes doesn¹t quite seem long enough to express the problems that plague UCSD, from the lack of any school spirit to the lack of support for athletics (you think these might be connected?), to the 10-minute passing period, to the fact that students pay $400 per year for the right not to find a parking space, to our student government¹s complete and utter lack of governing power over UCSD policy, to the fact that the average UCSD student has the social skills of a turd.

    Ten minutes won¹t even begin to address any of these problems. But 10 minutes is infinitely better than no time at all, which is what Acting Chancellor Marsha A. Chandler gives the average UCSD student ‹ unless you count the fact that students are “”permitted”” to send e-mails to our chancellor, in which case the average student can potentially get 90 seconds (the time it takes for the average person to digest an e-mail before deleting it).

    That is, of course, assuming that the chancellor actually looks at these e-mails, though it is sorely obvious that he (or, recently, she) does not.

    Last July, a man named Bob Clay sent Chancellor Robert C. Dynes a letter asking for a reprieve in the number of [email protected] e-mails, which waste time and money when UCSD faculty and students are forced to sift through and delete them. This was a reasonable gripe, and he proposed a reasonable solution: make another mailing list for key administrators and spare everyone else from the e-mails that don¹t apply to them. Five months later, the daily e-mails telling students how faculty can split up their administrative leave show no signs of stopping. Therefore, based on the chancellor¹s failure to heed Clay¹s advice, let¹s revise our estimate to 15 seconds: the time the chancellor is really willing to spend with the average UCSD student.

    These results can be interpreted in a way that all UCSD students can understand: nerd-speak. 10 minutes (600 seconds) divided by 15 seconds gives us a disturbing ratio: the UCLA administration cares about its students 40 times more than UCSD¹s.

    So, what¹s the solution? How can UCSD bring these dismal statistics to a more reasonable level for a “”first-class”” university? A good place to start would be the example of Dynes.

    We all know that the average UCSD student didn¹t have a very high opinion of how much time Dynes spent with the average UCSD student, seeing that he lived in a house worth more than Revelle College and that most students never even saw his face until it was plastered on trash cans all over campus, accompanied by the word “”posse.””

    But in his defense, Dynes at least tried. He kept close relationships with the A.S. Council, organized a fun fundraiser for undergraduate scholarships (the Chancellor¹s Challenge 5K Run) and spoke at numerous events, even out in Price Center during lunch, where the students could walk past and ignore him.

    Itas a bit premature to bring this up, seeing how Chandler has only held the office for a few months now, but would it be too much to ask to see her follow Dynes’ example and coordinate an event or two for the students, or appear in person once in a while? Students may be the lowest rung in the money ladder and cannot compare to the monetary pleasure derived from reaping billions of dollars from corporations in the name of “”research,”” but even the lowest rung on a ladder deserves some token outreach.

    So, how can Chandler and future chancellors combat this sense of alienation and disgust from the student body that stems from the current “”15-second rule?”” It’s easy. All they need to do is put themselves in the shoes of a typical UCSD student and drink heavily on the weekends to forget about how miserable their Monday-to-Friday routine is.

    Or, how about following the example of the other UC schools by teaching a course now and then, or attending a UCSD home game, or eating in the insipid on-campus dining halls instead of the Faculty Club once a week, or holding receptions and press conferences for undergraduate leaders, or simply holding open office hours.

    Chancellors could also raise their awareness of UCSD student living conditions by living in the dormitories with an albino programmer roommate who eats nothing but Kraft Singles, or encouraging our moderate Greek population on campus by joining a “”Frat”” (or, if female, the chancellor could join a “”Sore””). Any of these suggestions (or any of the serious suggestions above) would do wonders for campus morale, which seems to perpetually waver somewhere between “”unsatisfactory”” and “”complete death.””

    At any rate, current and future chancellors (as well as other executive administrators) need to extend their involvement with students out of the digital realm and out of the “”under-a-minute”” time frame. Anything short of surpassing UCLA’s marginally passing mark of one-hour public input per quarter and Chandler will have brought herself down to the level of the typical UCSD student in terms of apathy and gross negligence.

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