Dire Budget Strains Demand Student Action

Dear Editor,

I want to commend you on the thoughtful summary your editorial board made in regard to the meeting with UC President Yudof and the current economic crisis of the UC system. With the misinformation and political gesturing surrounding the California budget and public universities, it is important for students to understand the rock-and-a-hard-place spot that we are all in right now.

UCSD is at a tipping point in its history as one of the finest research institutions in the country and, arguably, the world. How do we maintain the highest quality of education without the budget to back it? In the past, when money and resources were available, we were able to attract top faculty, staff and administration to the campus. The resulting excellence of information coming from UCSD does more than collect accolades; it actually increases the value of your degree.

Each student who comes to UCSD chooses to come here in order to best set themselves up for their future. They want to graduate with this university’s name on their degree and resume because they believe the opportunities here will translate to a high paycheck down the road. It’s a simple business return: The greater the reputation of your university, the greater the return you will get on your investment in your education.

For whatever misconceptions are out there about how much money UC campuses do or don’t have, or how it is or isn’t spent, the reality is this: The amount of money you pay for your education barely dents the amount of what it costs to bring you to this campus, in a building, with a desk and a teacher before you. The state of California pitches in some money (but 50 percent less than it did 20 years ago), and the rest has to come from creative funding. How? The Student Foundation has your answer: Day Tuition Ends will be featured on Library Walk during the Chancellor’s 5K Challenge on Oct. 23, and will tell you exactly how far your dollar is stretched in your education. Trust me, it’s not as far as you think.

With the proposed fee increases, you are being asked to invest more in your education than ever before. Maintain the value of your investment by taking the Chancellor’s Challenge and becoming an I-Pledge donor to give directly to student scholarships. Or put your mouth where your money is and let California know exactly how you have been impacted by budget cuts with three simple clicks at advocacy.ucsd.edu.

As an alumnus and UCSD staff member, I sympathize with students facing financial hardship from the proposed fee increases. Due to budget cuts, I’ve seen top-of-the-field faculty recruitments pulled off the table, my pay decrease by nearly 18 percent and colleagues laid off. But I believe access to higher education is the future for a successful California, and I will keep pushing until every student who wants to be here gets the resources they need to succeed. Come join the fight.

— Brittan Trozzi
Special Projects Manager,UCSD Alumni Affairs

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