Student input needed in CA budget deal

    Students who marched across the UCSD campus and on the State Capitol on May 18 had a good reason to be angry. As part of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May revision of the budget, UC undergraduate student fees will rise not just 10 percent, as expected, but up to 14 percent. More importantly, this was part of the deal for higher education, called the “compact,” that was struck between the governor, UC President Robert C. Dynes and CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

    See anything missing from this picture? Try students.

    This closed-door deal that didn’t include a single member of the State Legislaure was made with no student representative present either. If including all campus student leaders was impractical, UC Student Regent Matt Murray would have been ideal to represent the students’ voices, as would have the UC Student Association, our own lobbying group. UCSA and UCSD’s Graduate Student Association both oppose the compact. A.S. President Jenn Pae, as well, has written a letter to UC officials decrying the lack of student input.

    Students should have had a voice in a decision that impacts student fees, student enrollment and financial aid. While it is too late for the university to fix this grievous error, it is not too late for students to make their voices heard to the Legislature, which will have the final say in ratifying a flawed budget proposal that left students out of the equation.

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