Cal baseball is being cut and Cal Rugby is losing Varsity status. This is just another example of how Cal Alumni fall down on the job. If you went to Cal and you don’t give back, shame on you. If you are a Californian, shame on you. If you went to college, shame on you. If you value higher education, shame on you. This is the Best Public University in the world and it’s threatened as if it were a bear cub.
I’m not suggesting that you donate to athletics and thus you should ignore me as being some sort of hooting rube. Rather I want you to give to Cal in any way you can. The fact that you’ve gotten so much from such an amazing university (whether or not you went to Cal, you have gotten something from it. Just read the history) and are letting the Academics wither and sports programs die is inexcusable.
There is a lot of elitist hatred of University athletics. I understand that some people think it’s unfair that Football gets a lot of money while Engineers can’t take Asian language courses. And they’re right! It isn’t! But this will NOT be solved by abstaining from donations. Is it logical to say “Hey, this aspect of Cal is getting lots of money while this other aspect is struggling. I’m going to protest by not giving anything to everybody?” No!
Giving money to public Universities is absolutely imperative if we want education to be accessible to EVERYONE. Rather than protesting fee hikes, talking about wasteful spending without any suggestions, or complaining about taxes, why don’t we actually physically do something about this diminishing of something as sacred as public education? The UC system is struggling. The CSU system is struggling. Public universities all across the United States are struggling in recession. And yet nobody has thought about the single most obvious and immediate solution: Give back.
If you can give back, give back! If you have extra money, don’t buy a fancy dinner, give money to Doe Library. Don’t go buy that boat, give money to the English Department so the Professors don’t have to take furlough days and deny students access to their well-established brilliance! You want to change the world? You want to make a move that will help this country evolve rather than devolve? Then give to a Public University!
I REALLY want you to give to Cal, but ANY Public University is starving for your help.
Raising tuition and eliminating sports that allows for kids who may not be able to afford college without Athletic scholarships not only diminishes Cal as an institution, but further limits who has access to higher education. We don’t know right now how to fix the system so that everyone can go to college for free. We don’t know how to fix the system so that poor schools that produce great athletes can somehow send their kids to Cal without scholarships. But we can provide scholarships. If you hate the idea of University Athletics, then I ask you to come up with an immediate alternative that offers as much as an effective conduit for people like student athletes to get to Cal. That could simply be giving to the general scholarship fund!
It’s time for all of you who care about Cal and the future of higher learning in the United States to take a long, hard look at yourselves and what Public Universities have done for you. It may not be direct, but if you’ve ever seen a doctor, been taught by a teacher, then you’ve been helped. Nobel Laureates, authors, scientists, engineers, law-makers, vice presidents, economists, performers, and all measures of amazing and revolutionary people have gone to Cal and public Universities across the country. We Have To Protect Public Universities. We have to protect Cal.
So I beseech you, I beg you, I am near tears as I ask you to Give Back to that which has cradled humanity through modernity. Post this far and wide. Roar with force and generosity. It’s time to get ferocious, my bears. We have been cubs protected by Cal, protected by our respective Alma Maters. It is time now for us to feel the protective growl of a Bear within us. It is time, my bears, it is time.
I am giving generously when I can. I have indicated to my loved ones that I no longer desire nor will accept material gifts for holidays. Instead, my Christmas will be all the warmer and merrier knowing that my loved ones gave a gift to Cal. They will smile as they open a small tin of cookies and see a note indicating that I gave them a gift by giving to Cal.
It is time, my bears. It is time to roll on.
This is one example of how much Cal means to me: