State senator requests public meeting with Chancellor Birgeneau on Sproul Plaza

After becoming aware of a campuswide email written by Chancellor Robert Birgeneau calling upon political leaders in Sacramento to engage in a public forum with the chancellor and student representatives, state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, has requested a public meeting with Birgeneau on Sproul Plaza Tuesday.

In response to Birgeneau’s Nov. 15 email, the senator, a co-author of the California DREAM Act, wrote a letter Monday requesting that the chancellor meet him on Sproul at 12:30 p.m. and bring “five ideas to restore our higher education system to its full glory.”

He added in the letter addressed to Birgeneau that “this state needs you and your colleagues to stop whining about our problems and start helping solve them.”

Greg Hayes, a spokesperson for de Leon, said the senator has been focused for some time on trying to enlist the UC system in addressing issues with the state of public education in California.

“The challenge of facing California’s budget is monumental and ultimately structural, and he’s reached out to the UC as a resource to provide a solution to the problem before,” Hayes said. “After months of knocking on the door and nobody answering, somebody has finally showed that they might open the door.”

Hayes said Birgeneau has agreed to meet with the senator tomorrow, though he could not say whether the forum will be held on Sproul or at an alternate private venue.