Alumni Association hosts Budget Write-In

The Phineas Banning Alumni House in UCI Extension was brimming with students and alumni last Tuesday, Dec. 1. Members of the UCI community feverishly wrote letters to state assemblymen and congressmen pleading to restore state funding to the UC system, funding that has been drastically cut by $813 million alone in the last two years. In all, 152 handwritten letters will be sent to state legislators in time for Governor Schwarzenegger’s January budget proposal to the legislature.
Along with additional shortfalls, the gap in needed funding from the state is near $1.2 million, according to Vince Stewart, Associate Director of Institutional Relations at UC Office of the President, who made the trip to the alumni house to show support for the event along with Brandon Kline, Advocacy Communications Coordinator at UCOP.
“It’s a pretty ambitious agenda that totals almost $900 million [we’re asking for],” Stewart said during his address to students and alumni. “Some say that in this environment, there’s no chance of getting that, but it’s something we have to ask for to be honest in terms of what we need as the University of California.”
Edward Raskin, Vice President of Advocacy for the Alumni Association, introduced Stewart and Student Regent Designate Jesse Cheng. Raskin enthusiastically noted that the UCI write-in is the first effort of its kind across the UC system to rally students to appeal directly to legislators. Raskin, Stewart and Cheng supported the write-in as a positive outlet for students frustrated with the recent 32 percent fee increases.
ASUCI and AGS, along with other campus organizations, will take part in a town hall meeting Thursday, Dec. 3 in the Student Center’s Doheny Beach rooms C and D from 5-7 p.m. Drake may attend for a short period of time to address student concerns.
Interested students and alumni are encouraged to visit the Anteater Advocate website and write Governor Schwarzenegger an e-mail or print out a letter at: http://www.ucforcalifornia.org/ucirvine/issues/alert/?alertid=14390906&type=SW