Say what you want about changes to commencement ceremonies this year, but one thing remains the same: those damn speeches.
The addresses given by the guest speaker and student speaker are meant to inspire those in attendance. In my opinion, however, these speeches give a misleading impression to listeners.
I graduate with a bitter taste in my mouth. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been involved with the New University over the last three years and as such, I can say I know quite a lot about this campus. I will use my last opportunity as editor-in-chief of the paper to tell you what UC Irvine is really all about, what I hate and love. And this rant won’t be sugar-coated like the speeches you’ll hear next week.
I hate how Jewish and Muslim students hate each other at UCI.
Both groups abuse the free-speech policies at UCI to throw insults at each other, and then play victim when the other side does the same. If smart, educated young Jews and Muslims in a random small suburban university can’t get along, how can we expect those living in the Middle East to ever do so?
I hate UC administrators.
Chancellor Drake recently described the role of the university as being in the ‘business of education.’ He couldn’t be more right. Our university system is just like any other business full of highly-paid corrupt and unethical administrators. State senators are calling on UC President Robert Dynes to be fired because UC executives were found to be over-compensated. There are too many examples to list here and don’t even get me started on the UCI Medical Center.
I hate how everyone at UCI has an inferiority complex.
UC Irvine is a very rarely a first- choice campus. OK, except maybe for the few of you who got full-ride Regents scholarships. Just because we all got rejected from UCLA and UC Berkeley doesn’t mean we’re worthless. But we all walk around like we are.
I hate how many professors in the liberal arts clearly show their liberal bias in class.
I consider myself moderate. I lean toward the right on some issues and left on others. But nothing makes me more uncomfortable than listening to professors and TAs spew off their liberal ideologies as if they were divine laws.
I hate how the cost of education is rising.
In order to pay for college, more students have to work more hours at meaningless jobs in order to be able to pay for the classes they don’t attend because they’re too exhausted from work. In the meantime, students are unable to make room in their schedules for unpaid internships and other opportunities that could actually lead them to a good full-time job after graduation.
I hate how the ‘other side’ of campus thinks they’re better than all of us here in the humanities, social sciences, social ecology and arts.
Just because you can do some math and science and what-not doesn’t make you better than us.
But despite all that, there is one thing that I love about UCI: the access to education that UCI provides to the public.
Only at a public university like UCI can someone like me have the opportunity to pursue higher education. Someone like me who spent four years in high school to get through two years of Spanish, who failed English his junior year, who didn’t even graduate in the top half of his class.
At UCI I was able to become editor of the paper and graduate magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and have the opportunity to work closely with several professors, including Jean-Daniel Saphores, Sharon Stern and Valerie Jenness (by the way, I thank you three for all your support and inspiration).
Despite all the things I hate about UCI, and all those things that get in the way of getting an education, the opportunity that UCI gave me to have a second chance and turn my life around is the reason why UCI will always be dear to my heart. Zot zot.
Allan Taing is a fourth-year environmental analysis and design major.