Project Ivy: If Only We All Drank Champagne

Just one year ago, the name Mark Yudof would have meant less to me than Taylor Lautner’s abs. However, both Mark Yudof and Taylor Lautner’s abs have recently come to the foreground of anteater watering hole discussions because, like Taylor Lautner’s hairless and glistening abs, UC President Mark Yudof’s actions have left our campus funding cut and our collective student body temperature raised by 32 percent.

While UC hippies are understandably angry about the 32 percent tuition increase, they are forgetting that nobody cares about poor college students except for poor college students. To protest more effectively, I suggest becoming rich college students, also known as Ivy League Hippies. Not only do rich college students enjoy the benefits of parents who donated the school library, they smell rich – as if they wake up every morning to golden showers.

The UC protesters need to take a page from the Ivy League hippies and be rich, so that people will actually listen to them. This is why I propose a UC-sponsored Ivy League revolution to simultaneously turn the tides of the protest and increase our school’s prestige. By converting the poor student population into the wealthy student population, the protesters will ensure that they will be heard loud and clear.

However, being rich isn’t something that you can teach. Being rich is a rare quality that people learn on the streets of their gated communities. If the UC protesters try to look rich, the UC Regents will see straight through their façade. Therefore, the only solution to the tuition increase is to create an army of Ivy League hippies clad in tie-dye blazers and armed with caviar-flavored top ramen.

Tragically, a large population of poor UC students stands in the way of this Ivy League revolution. UC schools pride themselves on creating a system of quality higher education and lower tuition costs, which means there are a lot of poor people that could ruin the protests. The most efficient way to eliminate the poor students is to hit them where it hurts most: their wallets. By increasing tuition even more, we will weed out the poor UC protesters and leave only the wealthy Ivy League protesters.

However, in order to maintain a certain level of civility while ousting poor students, we will have to justify our actions. This is where the UC system’s exceptional public universities and strong research centers come into play. UC is consistently ranked in the top 50 of the “U.S. NEWS and World Report” and has produced 37 Nobel laureates – three of which hail from UC Irvine. We will tell the poor students that in order to become a more prestigious university, our established public ivory towers must become private ivy-covered ivory towers – Now UC them, now you don’t.

Fortunately, the state of California has been hard at work cutting public education funding which would otherwise keep education costs low. The state of California has selflessly cut UC funding from $15,860 per student in 1990 to $9,560 per student in 2007-2008.

Higher tuition makes the chances of a successful protest high, but to ensure continued success, we will need a strong and inexhaustible source of money: the California state prison funds. The state prison budget remained untouched in the same budget passed last February that cut public education funding by $8.6 billion. In fact, over the last decade, our state prison budget has increased by $11 billion.

By turning our ivory towers into actual prison towers, we will be eligible for state prison money. We can call it, “The UC Irvine Prison Experiment: Stanford’s Was a Joke, Ours is For Real.” Sure, we don’t actually have real ivory towers, but with the state funding, we could afford to build actual ones. We won’t even have to take in violent felons because we will be a debtors’ prison for all the students who are currently enrolled but can no longer afford to pay off their debt due to the tuition increases.

Where will we put these ivory prisons? Aldrich Park, only we’ll let it become Aldrich Jungle and fill it with genetically enhanced anteaters that hunt poor people. They will be like Death ‘Eaters, except cuddly. In the middle of Aldrich Jungle will be our ivory prison, a shining beacon of our successful protest. Sure, this Ivy League revolution was a success at the expense of poor students, but the poor students understand that we sacrificed them for the greater good. By combining both the ivory towers and our Ivy League status, the UC will become a whole new species of college – Ivory League Towers.

So, UC protesters, if you really want your protest to be a success like the Ivory League Towers, do something that the UC Regents and the state of California have not done: think things through.

James Kuo is a fourth-year English major. He can be reached at jkuo4@uci,edu.