Letter to the Editors: An Open Letter to Chancellor Blumenthal on Measure 62

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Hello Chancellor Blumenthal,

My name is Victoria Mannah, and I’m a freshmen here at UCSC. I’m a Porter affiliate, and have recently voted in the SUA Elections here on campus.

One of the hot issues at the moment seems to be measure 62, with an increase of $351 to tuition in order to fund the Athletics Program here on campus. I, personally, do not use athletics very much, but I definitely do support the allocation of more funds for it. However I cannot vote yes on 62.

One of the main reasons I emailed you is to talk about the budgeting of the sports program. For example, coaches’ salaries. From what I understand, the average coaches salary is $23,000 without benefits or pensions (City on a Hill Press). This is not a living wage. In fact, for a family of four this falls barely above the poverty line in Santa Cruz County (Glasmeier). Now, it seems to me, that a university that capitalizes on its image of “the original authority on questioning authority” should be a leading beacon for human rights. A living wage for its workers is one such right.

I do not understand why then, the burden of giving your workers a living wage, falls on students’ shoulders, when the university already turns a profit, which adds to the privatization of this public school, an issue I’m sure you are well acquainted with. It is not the responsibility of myself or other students to fund the sports program here, when most of us do not use it. Or at least, this task should not fall solely on the students’ shoulders. I am sure, we can reallocate funds from your superfluous expansion plan to the UCSC sports program, in order to give your workers a living wage. I’ve seen the brochures for an expansion plan starting in 2016 around campus that plan to cut into sanctuary places on campus. Places like the porter meadow and upper campus. The issue with that being that administration plans to expand, when the buildings they’ve already got (which are more than sufficient for campus needs) are in such disarray. For example, Oakes College dorms are reported by students living there to have mold growing in the air vents. 

Sources:

City on a Hill Press. “Coaches Deserve Fair Pay.” City on a Hill Press. City on a Hill Press, 26 Feb. 2014. Web.

Glasmeier, Amy K., Dr. “Living Wage Calculation for Santa Cruz County, California.” Living Wage Calculator. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015. Web.

 

Victoria Mannah is a UC Santa Cruz first-year student.