Nearly 1,000 students have signed a petition calling for Gov. Jerry Brown and University of California President Janet Napolitano to talk about University costs and funding in a public forum.
The petition, created by the UC Student Association, calls on Brown and Napolitano to participate in a forum at UC Davis hosted by the Associated Students of UC Davis.
Brown and Napolitano are the two members of the Select Advisory Committee on the Cost Structure of the University, which was created by the UC Board of Regents in January. The committee has met twice so far, said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Brown, in an email statement.
Brown called for the committee’s creation after the UC approved a tuition increase by up to 5 percent annually for the next five years at November’s regents meeting. Napolitano is requesting $220 million in extra state funding to avoid raising tuition, while Brown has said the state government will give only $120 million in extra funding, contingent on tuition remaining flat.
Brown and Napolitano gave no concrete proposals in their report at the regents meeting in March, and they said they plan to come up with solutions in the near future.
Jefferson Kuoch-Seng, a student at UC Merced and UCSA president, said he thinks the committee has not engaged enough with students and that there needs to be more transparency in their discussions.
“With this committee of two, we don’t know what to expect, and so far we haven’t seen anything insightful in its reports,” he said. “We think that this petition will pressure them to engage more with students and be more transparent.”
Westrup said the committee gets student input through campus visits and meetings. He said committee staff met with student representatives Friday in Sacramento.
Kuoch-Seng said they are calling for the forum to be held in UC Davis because it is close to both Brown’s and Napolitano’s offices and because the Associated Students of UC Davis brought the idea to UCSA.
The Associated Students of UC Davis originally scheduled the forum for last Wednesday. Shelly Meron, a UC spokeswoman, said Napolitano declined the invitation in a letter to the Davis student government. In the letter, Napolitano thanked students for organizing the forum but said she had prior commitments that conflicted with the forum.
Brown and Napolitano will give the next update on their committee findings at the next regents meeting in May, Westrup said.
Compiled by Rupan Bharanidaran, Bruin contributor.