. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Nap Time!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I feel poor

Uh... is any of my money being used to determine the title of the music that "the typical freshman" listens to? I don't want to appear stingy or anything, but... uh...

Speaking of excellent use of my money, let's talk about the UCSA.
For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, every UC Berkeley student supports an association that works to keep each student an active player in California higher education.
I'd rather have the coffee, considering how successful the UCSA is. I would have phrased it as follows:
Every UC Berkeley student is coerced, using university enrollment as leverage, to provide money to a partisan political advocacy group that, in general, accomplishes nothing for students.
That's probably too much to hope for from the Daily Cal. When was the last time the Daily Cal was actually critical of the subject of one of its stories? No opponents of the UCSA are quoted. If the Daily Cal folks ever want to do real journalism, they can always ask me, I have stables of folks who don't take this fawning position on these groups that I can direct reporters to.
"We are trying to stake out ourselves as an apolitical force in the state," said UCSA Field Organizer and full-time staffer Amanda Martin.
"We are students! We are apolitical! Hear us 'meh'!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 8/29/2006 09:11:00 AM #
Comments (2)
. . .

I've been reading Beetle Beat for a little while, so I thought it might be worth noting that a couple of your points about UCSA were a little unfair. First, I think that Amanda Martin was not trying to say that UCSA is apolitical, but non-partisan. After all, it wouldn't be fair to conservative students if we at UCSA were, say, liberally biased. And we certainly don't want people claiming Smith v. Regents refunds.

However, we did have a debate at the UCSA Congress about how the different gubernatorial candidates would work for students. We had a representative for Angelides, a UCSA staff member, someone to read a statement from Schwarzenegger's campaign, and a moderator who used to work for Gray Davis. Clearly, UCSA stresses balance in its proceedings.

However, UCSA does accomplish things for students. First of all, we got ACR 34 (Liu), the Student Compact passed, a non-binding resolution passed by the state legislature, which we can use to make legislators feel bad about increasing fees in the future. We also claim victory for a fee freeze, which was really an ex post facto fee buyback in election year, but hey, close enough.

I'm fairly involved in ASUCD at Davis, and it may be worth explaining some things here that I explained to them. UCSA is a coalition, and you can only benefit from that coalition if you invest in it in the first place. You can complain all you want, but UCSA will continue to be the represenative of many schools and appoint to systemwide committees and the student regent. Additionally, it has value in sharing information between campuses about local policy differences and what strategies work to motivate students.

So if you really feel that UCSA is all so bad, I invite you to come to the meeting at UCSF next weekend (Sept 9-10) and help make it better. And if you still feel like you want a cup of coffee (I can see why you might like the bitterness of coffee), I'll buy you a cup on the way home.

Brent Laabs
UCSA Board of Directors Chair
I don't even drink coffee, but would still rather have the coffee. I guess it's an inside joke.

I'm not sure if you were telling a joke with your explanation of success via "nonbinding resolution to make legislators feel bad." Is that what you folks consider an "accomplishment"?

I assume Martin was misquoted, and actually said "political force," but relying on the Daily Cal for accuracy is a risky proposition.

The reason I don't "help make UCSA better" is because the best thing UCSA could do is dissolve, but that's not something I'll be able to convince the folks who take advantage of the UCSA's existence to massage their ego, or get their conscience jollies, or boost their resumes, or whatever the hell they get involved for. If you folks are so great, why can't you get your funding without coercion?

UCSA might be able to sell "non-partisanship" better if it focused more directly on student stuff rather than playing with the environment and prisons, and coincidentally, always taking the "progressive" side. There were hundreds of other places to say "Hey, government, cut spending here, that'll leave more money for education," but it went for prisons.
Post a Comment

. . .