Outreach advocates lobby Sacramento

By Ellen Chrismer, Dateline UC Davis

23 January 2002 | Members of UC ACCORD, the UC student and faculty research group studying ways to get more disadvantaged students into higher education, spent a day in Sacramento last week lobbying legislators and testifying at a hearing on university admissions outreach. ACCORD stands for the All Campus Collaborative on Outreach, Research and Dissemination.

Under Gov. Gray Davis’ proposed budget, the collaborative has sustained a 40 percent cut in funding, said Matthew Hargrove, advocacy director at UC Davis. In the 2001-02 budget, the research consortium received $800,000 to support its work. For next year, the governor’s office has proposed $500,000.

After meeting with the collaborative, State Sen. Mike Machado (D-Linden) said he would support educational outreach programs in a tight fiscal year with one caveat. The legislature, he said, needs to pass a budget that “makes sense economically, is responsible fiscally and also shows a compassion for the people we are going to serve.”

Outreach advocates presented their findings at a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on College and University Admissions and Outreach.

A Berkeley law student, Felicia Sze, described student efforts to increase minority enrollments on their campuses. Sze noted that because of poor university funding, minority students often bear the burden of doing outreach work to younger students, volunteering their time while keeping up with classes and part-time jobs.

“We have to find ways to fund students’ (outreach) work so that they are not stretched all the time,” Sze said.


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