Students concerned with budget cuts to UCSB outreach programs are holding a rally today at noon in Corwin Plaza outside a meeting between Chancellor Henry Yang and the UCSB Foundation Trustees’ Executive Committee.
Rally organizers are holding the event in protest of this week’s agreement between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, UC President Robert Dynes and CSU Chancellor Charles. The agreement states that only $4 million from non-California resident tuition and $8 million from other resources will be used to fund UC outreach programs. Last year, UC outreach programs received $33 million from the state, $2 million of which was allocated to UCSB programs. Associated Students External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Jewel Love said the rally is meant to keep the outreach budget at the same level.
Love said the objective of the outreach program is to encourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend UC schools. Outreach programs include events such as Freshman Summer Start Program, Student Initiated Outreach Program and Summer Transitional Enrichment Program.
One student said the rally will be held outside the meeting in order to reach those who contribute monetarily to the school.
“We know, along with education, money is essential to this campus,” senior philosophy major Torrance Thurman said. “Money is a sustaining force on this campus, just like the students. If the funders share our concern, then they can definitely have an influence on the chancellor.”
To attract students to the rally, student organizers advertised the event this week by hanging posters in residence halls and sending out e-mails to various student groups. One e-mail sent to the San Miguel Residence Hall Council encouraged council members to participate in the rally.
Yang said he supported outreach programs and would listen to what members of the rally had to say. The chancellor said he met with a group of students Wednesday at the campus Budget Strategy Committee meeting.
“[The students] made a strong case on the importance of our outreach programs,” Yang said. “The budget committee was very supportive and is working on this request.”
Executive Director of Campus Outreach Initiatives Joseph Castro coordinates the different outreach programs on campus. He said he believes the chancellor will find a solution to the funding problem.
“The chancellor is very committed to outreach,” Castro said. “He’s been working with the legislature about the importance of outreach.”
Love said after the rally that he and just over five other rally members plan to meet with Yang and the trustees. He said he feels that outreach is an important issue and that students, administrators and donors will support it.
“We are in solidarity with everyone else in the state of California fighting to save outreach,” Love said.