Alumni Philanthropy Contributes to the Excellence of Cal

Cal students prefer to be in class as often as possible—at least that’s what it seemed like on Cal Philanthropy Day. The yearly event organized by CAA’s Student Alumni Relations Council (SARC) publicized the fact that classes would have ended on November 8 without private donations to Cal. Student volunteers descended upon the campus before dawn to post lawn signs that read “If it weren’t for donors like Cal alumni, today would be the last day of the semester.”

“By educating the student body about how important alumni donations are to Cal, we are adding a new angle to the current debate about University funding sources,” said Anita Poon ’13, SARC’s executive director. In addition to a speech on Sproul Plaza by ASUC External Affairs Vice President Joey Freeman, SARC offered students the opportunity to express their gratitude to alumni donors by making a video testimonial or signing a 6-foot-tall Thank You card.

Thanks to CAA’s close relationship with SARC, students also had the opportunity to register for the Cal Advocacy program. “After learning that alumni philanthropy currently surpasses yearly state funding, students felt motivated to advocate for change with our legislators,” said Poon. According to SARC volunteers, every single student who participated was surprised and inspired after learning how important philanthropy is to the excellence of Cal. Summarizing the day, Poon said, “We’re showing current students what we all should aspire to be like as alumni.”

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University access, affordability is farther and farther out of reach. University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau, Provost Breslauer leave an indelible mark on access and affordability. Self absorbed, arrogant Chancellor Provost are outspoken on elite public Cal. ‘charging Californians much higher’ tuition. Number 1 ranked Harvard is now less costly. Cal. tuition is rising faster than costs at other universities. The ‘charge Californians higher’ tuition makes Cal. the most expensive public university! Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) Breslauer ($306,000 salary) like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving them every dollar expected. The ‘charge Californians more’ tuition skyrocketed fees by an average 14% per year from 2006 to 2011-12 academic years. If Birgeneau Breslauer had allowed fees to rise at the same rate of inflation over the past 10 years they would still be in reach of most middle income students. Disparities in higher education defeat the promise of equality of opportunity. An unacceptable legacy for students, parents, politicians! Additional funding should sunset. The economic downturn is devastating California. Simply asking Californians for more money to fund inept Cal. leadership, old expensive higher education models and support burdensome salaries, bonuses, and pensions is not the answer. UC Berkeley is to maximize access to the widest number of Californians at a reasonable cost: mission of diversity and equality of opportunity. Birgeneau’s Breslauer’s ‘charge Californians higher’ tuition denies middle income Californians the transformative value of Cal’s higher education. Opinions? UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu Calif. State Senators, Assembly members
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