Dissecting the California Budget

Pie charts, graphs and the impending doom of what is yet another wave of cuts and despair aren’t exactly sexy. We at the New University bring you this Special Budget Issue, not because of its propensity to attract the masses, but because we believe that it is important to inform. We want the community to be aware of the ramifications and different ways that everyone in the UCI community is affected by the current financial state of affairs in California.

And we do mean everyone – even those seniors who are graduating and leaving the UC system behind. This issue really goes beyond the dreaded rising tuition, as unfortunate as those developments are. The $500 million proposed budget cut from Governor Jerry Brown to the UC comes hand-in-hand with a proposed $500 million cut to the California State University system and $400 million to California community colleges. This drastic attack on public school funding is nothing new: funding has decreased since the 1960s, and where we are today is simply an extension of that disinvestment. This affects the entire well-being of California’s future and is a reflection of the lack of support for education in our society, as well as the overall condition of our economy.

In 10, 20 or 50 years, we want people to be able to look back at this critical time period in the UC and understand how and why things changed. It is important to note how people have been affected since the founding of the UC, when tuition did not exist and attending a UC was virtually free of charge, to how things are now. Although giant sums of money are ironically abstract and changes in programs eventually get swept under the rug, people are both subtly and dramatically affected. Their stories should not be lost.

With all five of our sections dedicated to issues relating to the budget, we hope to encapsulate the voices of everyone on campus, from administrators to students, from the sciences to the humanities, from arts to athletics. Though we can only speculate at this moment about the future, and our limited space does not allow us to cover every area of campus life as we would like, we’ve done our best to fill our pages with information that will get the conversations started and encourage you to keep your eyes open to the state of the UC around you now. We want to represent the combined voice of UC Irvine — of those who are the most vocal to those who have yet to speak up, so that this moment in history is preserved for future generations to look back on and, hopefully, to learn from.

The New University is an independent space, funded solely by advertising revenue and by no organization, administration or group, and is available for any member of the UCI community to contribute their thoughts or opinions.

Thank you for reading.

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