Using academic funding to pay stadium debt detracts from students’ academic experiences

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I am angry and horrified to hear that UC Berkeley is planning to use academic-designated funds to pay down the Memorial Stadium debt. I’ve been donating to UC Berkeley every year since I graduated, with the hope of helping support its excellent students and academic reputation. It’s the little bit I can do to help bridge the gap between the cash-strapped UC Berkeley experience and what the campus’s high-caliber students could be experiencing at a better-funded private school.

The thought of taking money from already underfunded academic programs and giving it to football makes me sick. Football is a sideshow for the entertainment of wealthy alumni donors. The gameday experience isn’t even aimed toward students any more; it’s meant for TV revenue and VIP boxes. This decision makes me seriously rethink whether to donate to UC Berkeley in the future.

Allison Ryan is a UC Berkeley alumna.