Gas station without pumps

2015 May 28

I’m proud of UCSC undergrads

I recently got an administrative e-mail, pointing me to the results of the recent student elections at UCSC (Campus Elections). There were 3 undergraduate fee measures on the ballot for undergrads:

  • Measure 61.CruzCare Access for All—Injury and Illness Health Center Fee: Shall the undergraduate students of UCSC provide funding for on-campus medical and mental health care for all undergraduate students by implementing a compulsory fee of $110.00 per student per quarter, starting Fall 2015?FAILED: 51.58% No, 48.42% Yes.
  • Measure 62. Athletics Operations Enhancement Fee: Shall the undergraduates of UCSC provide funding for the operations for Intercollegiate Athletics by implementing a compulsory fee of $117 per student, per quarter, starting in the fall of 2015?FAILED: 60.33% No, 39.67% Yes.
  • Measure 63. Amendment to Measure 30: Strengthening Access to Learning Support Services: Shall the undergraduate students of UCSC provide funding for Learning Support Services, including tutoring and Modified Supplemental Instruction by increasing Measure 30 by $5.36 per student per quarter, resulting in a total fee of $12.00 per student, per quarter?PASSED: 84.99% Yes, 15.01% No.

The undergraduates clearly understood that it is not the point of the University to support varsity athletes in their pursuit of pleasure (and UCSC is unique among the University of California campuses in this recognition), nor to require everyone to further subsidize a student health care system (students are already required to have health insurance, and the student health center is available to all who choose the UCSC student health insurance—the measure was intended to open the services to students who opted to have other, less-expensive health plans), but it is appropriate for students to tax themselves modestly to increase the availability of tutoring and other learning support for those who need it.

I believe that even much lower-cost student athletic fees have failed in the past, but that fees for increasing recreational facilities or opportunities for all students have passed fairly easily.  The students are not opposed to sports, just to subsidizing play for a tiny elite, rather than opening it up for participation by all. One outcome I expect to see from this election is the withdrawal of UCSC from the NCAA Division III and a return to club sports and a focus on intramural athletics for everyone, as there was when I first started teaching at UCSC.


  1. I always wondered how semi-professional sports became a part of the American university system. I could understand it if the sports brought in more money than they cost but that does not seem to be a consistent pattern. At the local University I understand only football and men’s basketball pay for themselves. Now throw Title 9 into the pot.

    Comment by gflint — 2015 May 29 @ 08:03 | Reply

  2. […] themselves a fee to support the teams.  So far the students have wisely resisted this, though they have been supportive of fee measures that support all students (not just elite athletes).  The fee that the athletics department tried to get passed was […]

    Pingback by Sports At Any Cost | Gas station without pumps — 2015 December 24 @ 11:11 | Reply

  3. […] year I wrote a post, I’m proud of UCSC undergrads, in which I praised UCSC undergrads for rejecting a fee to subsidize the approximately 250 Division […]

    Pingback by Not so proud of UCSC undergrads this year | Gas station without pumps — 2016 May 26 @ 21:23 | Reply

  4. […] posted on this topic before: I’m proud of UCSC undergrads, Sports at Any Cost, and Not so proud of UCSC undergrads this year.  I am hopeful that students […]

    Pingback by US News covers UCSC referendum on athletics | Gas station without pumps — 2016 September 24 @ 20:37 | Reply

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