Talking Points & Sample Letter

Bellow are some talking points and a sample letter to the Pres Yudof and the UC Board of Regents that were submitted for posting, please use, distribute, etc!

Click bellow to download a .doc file of this sample Letter to Yudof & UC Regents:

Some talking points about the UC crisis and protests.

Introduction

For a friend, parent or family member: Have you been following what’s been going on at the UCs lately? I’ve been really concerned about what’s been happening to higher education in California, and I wanted to talk to you about why I’ve gotten involved. The UC administration has been using the current budget crisis as an opportunity to push through a model of high tuition and high aid, basically privatizing a public good that should be accessible to all Californians. California has three world class higher education systems, and they are why the state is such an economic powerhouse.  We need to keep these systems public and accessible for future generations of Californians. If this continues that education will be lower quality, and increasingly out of reach for those who need it most.

Ask

So I just wanted to ask you to take part in the statewide day of action that is going to be happening on March 4. (Other potential asks could be to write to their legislators/the UC admins, or participate in an action that’s happening before March 4) Come out and support me and the future of California! (This is a good time to show them the Q&A Guide)

Q&A

Isn’t this just about spoiled faculty or university workers complaining about furloughs?

No, it’s all of us together. Many UC employees have been hit hard by the layoffs, furloughs and wage cuts. There are thousands of middle class and low-wage workers at the UC who are being hit.  As a student, I want to make sure that the people who keep my campus running safely and teach my classes are treated decently.

The faculty initially joined the walk-out because the UC administration blatantly ignored their democratic decision to take furloughs during days of instruction and educate students about the crisis. This was after promising to let them take their furlough days as they chose to. Now faculty, workers, and students are working together to reverse the privatization of the UC

Shouldn’t the protests be directed at the state for not funding the UC?

The protests are aimed at both. We’ve been lobbying, calling, and writing the State Legislature to pressure them to restore the funding cut from higher education. There are more actions targeting the Legislature and the Governor planned for the near future.  However, the fact remains that the UC administration is not prioritizing students in its response to the budgetary situation. Vital programs like basic writing classes and ESL are being cut while at the same time affordable housing co-ops are closed to make way for more administrators. Besides, since 2001, well before the budget crisis, student fees have more than doubled, and the added 32% means fees have tripled.

32% is bad, but doesn’t the money have to come from somewhere?

No one denies that the state is in an economic crisis, but the administration is not taking adequate steps to close the shortfall without raising fees. Fee hikes and wage cuts are falling most heavily on students and low income workers while top earners bring home over $500,000 per year. The fee hikes that are supposed to provide for the education of students are actually being used as collateral for construction bonds. The new buildings funded by our fees are mostly high profit medical and research facilities that have nothing to do with instruction.

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