Engaging Education (e2) is a student-initiated center that creates programs for student from underrepresented and under resourced communities. We, the students, made a commitment to diversity by voting to tax ourselves to fund these programs. Almost all of the funding for these programs comes from students. The only funding the University contributes is the “Chancellor’s Match:” $1.50 for every $1.00 students contribute. The University has not made a commitment to making these funds stable and permanent. In fact, the Match expired this Spring.
e2 is seeking to renew the Chancellor’s Match for the next 5 years. Everyone recognizes the importance of these programs and the great significance they have for communities of color. Our request to renew the Match has received support from faculty, alumni and students and over 20 major organizations, including the SUA, Afrikan/Black Student Alliance, Asian/Pacific Islander Student Alliance, Filipino Student Association, Student Alliance of North American Indians, and el Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán.
The Match is critical. It funds the Student-Initiated Outreach programs of e2, which provide incoming and K-12 students the opportunity to visit the campus for free and to connect and learn about the experiences of current Chicanx/Latinx, African/Black/Caribbean, Asian/Asian American and Pacific Islander students. Without the Match, e2 will not have the resources to sustain these programs that have been successful in recruiting and retaining hundreds of students.
On May 8th, e2 met with the Chancellor to present the programs and request the renewal of the Match. Chancellor Blumenthal not only expressed his gratitude for the work of e2 but agreed to renew the Match for one more year. However, he would not say if the university would commit to another 5 years. e2 has sent numerous communications asking for an answer, but the Chancellor’s staff replied and would only say it is “under review.”
One year of funding is NOT sustainable funding. Why is it that students have to beg the university to help sustain these spaces when it should be the university’s job to not only bring in students, but provide them with safety, support, and the necessary resources to navigate an institution that historically was not intended to serve them? Not only are students doing the University’s job for free, but they are doing a better job than the administration.
- For the past 10 years, e2’s programs have an average yield rate of 60% while the University has a 19% yield rate.
- e2 students’s responsibility and democratically govern their budgets, whereas the UC system has been in the news for extravagant expenses and lack of transparency and accountability.
How can the administration keep saying it is for diversity when it will not make a commitment to the people and the programs that are successful in doing the work of promoting equity and justice? Actions speak louder than words. We demand that before the end of this quarter the university make a commitment to these programs and the Chancellor sign a Memorandum of Understanding that renews the Chancellor’s Match for the next 5 years.