“Hi!” “Giggle, giggle.” “Give me five.” These are the words of junior high and little elementary kids that are amazed at me passing by them on my bike on my way to class, rather than the university they’re taking a tour of, which is generously funded by campus outreach programs. I see little kids who stand a little above my knees, who probably barely know their ABCs, taking a tour of UCSB, and campus outreach programs is complaining about budget cuts?

About a week ago, campus outreach programs and representatives followed Chancellor Henry Yang to Cheadle Hall to have him sign a petition that would guarantee $3 million from some unknown source for the program. However, even the representatives of this program couldn’t tell you if less funding or less outreach would really make a difference with the application process of minority students.

Like just about any regular student, I wasn’t thinking about college until maybe freshman year of high school. The end of my sophomore year was when I started touring colleges and was serious about applying to colleges. Junior year I became really serious and started looking for brochures, touring colleges and going to outreach programs – or what I think was outreach programs – that came to my high school.

I believe it’s important to help students understand the university, but I’m a little skeptical of what Executive Director of Campus Outreach Initiatives Joe Castro’s organization does with reference to his quote, “However, because of the communities we work with, those same students happen to be students of color. Our efforts have been very successful,” (“Outreach Cuts May Diminish UCSB Diversity,” Daily Nexus, May 19). Perhaps Mr. Castro can enlighten me and other readers on what outreach’s efforts involve. But that’s something the organization itself should look into – whether the current outreach program is important for minorities. What I’m complaining about are the little elementary and junior high kids that are a part of this program.

I’m sure if they told little Johnny that he’s not traveling to UCSB, but instead going to the zoo, he could care less, and would be jumping at the word “zoo.” If campus outreach programs pays for the travel costs, vans, tours or basically uses money from their budget in regards to elementary and junior high students, I think it has a big problem on its hands. Demanding more money, for what makes absolutely no sense, is like me asking for the university to install an 18-hole golf course that runs through campus – even though I wouldn’t mind playing a few rounds of golf on my way to Buchanan Hall. The point is that [[“The point is that” is not needed]] if money is in the budget for elementary or junior high students, then there’s $3 million or more the university can save by cutting those programs and target those who would understand what a university is, like high school students, and I bet they would see improved results. So before Campus outreach programs runs up to Sacramento and complains to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger about the cuts, I think they should ask themselves if they could cut Little Johnny’s trip to UCSB in the interests of California and the university.

Adam Pinson is a junior political science major.