The Campus Activities to Revitalize Education Referendum concerns itself with student initiated programming that encourages, among many things: leadership and retention of students through outreach and student initiated programming. CARE comes during a critical time in which, not only are student tuition rates increasing, but the amount of money allocated for outreach is decreasing. Gov. Schwarzenegger shrank the outreach budget from $17 million to absolutely nothing this year; with no plan or intention to give any money for outreach again in the near or far future.
The CARE referendum is currently being drafted in order to encourage an increase of money available for student initiated academic programming and student retention efforts that include, but are not limited to, free printing and increased study space on campus.
The referendum calls for a $6 fee per student per quarter in order to help raise the funds available for such programs to continue existing or begin function in order to benefit students at UC Irvine. In accordance with UC Office of the President policies, 33 percent of the revenue coming from the CARE referendum would go to financial aid.
UCI is not the only school challenging Schwarzenegger’s plan to cut the budget for outreach. UCOP and University of California Students Association are advocating for the return of monies for outreach at state level and have made academic preparation a major point of focus when talking to the governor.
There are already too many disparities between students of high and low socioeconomic backgrounds. Outreach budgets have been cut more and more drastically since the year 2003. Because of this, students must take the issue into their own hands.
It is now up to students to try to get their own resources in order to continue efforts that were once widely supported and funded by the very same government that is taking away that funding at this moment.
The referendum will be voted on during the third week of spring quarter. A vote of ‘yes’ would help the CARE referendum pass at UCI.
CARE is not only another fee to add to tuition rates, it is a referendum that will help increase UCI’s visibility not only in the Irvine community, but in the Orange County community as a whole.
Ingrid Cruz is a second-year studio arts and film studies double major.