In recent news, the UC Board of Regents just approved a tuition hike of 3.5 percent for out-of-state students. This does not come as a shock to many, seeing as the regents have increased tuition in the past even as students struggle to afford day-to-day things.
As tuition increases to accommodate the growing number of students the university accepts every year, housing becomes even harder to come by and increasingly unaffordable. This topic is a huge issue for pretty much every student on campus, and it’s having some immediate and real-life impacts on our everyday lives.
So, we at the Clog would just like to tell the Board of Regents to “go take a hike.”
Some time out in nature (or at least thinking about it), battling with the elements and facing something harder than voting to make students pay more for a public university could do them some good. We hope that they can gain some new perspective on things and realize that the world is a lot bigger than the UC system’s bank account. These hikes are almost as inaccessible as a UC school!
Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala
This hike is definitely one of the most dangerous of the bunch: It’s claimed so many lives in the past that the peak is actually closed off to hikers. This active volcano has erupted multiple times, killing residents in nearby villages and forcing many evacuations. And even when it’s against their better interest, hikers still attempt to get up the volcano through other routes, despite the danger — just like the Board of Regents continuing to raise tuition.
Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea
This famous and dangerous hike is known for being a site of fighting between the Japanese and Australian forces during World War II in the Pacific arena. Its 60-mile trek has resulted in many injuries and deaths in the past, but it’s also one of the biggest tourist attractions in Papua New Guinea. The government has been funneling a lot of money into the trail, similar to members of the Board of Regents, who say they’ll be funneling this extra tuition into accommodating more students into an already overcrowded school (but it’s not like we’re mad about that or anything).
Mt. Huashan Cliffside Plank Path, China
This hike is treacherous but has some incredible views. You’re literally hanging on the side of a mountain on plank paths with a big drop under you. This hike sure isn’t for the faint of heart, but if the regents can stomach raising tuition for struggling students, we’re sure they can stomach the thought of this hike.
Mist Trail, California
This Yosemite hike isn’t too far away, so they can make the hike in the morning and be back in time for a committee meeting! OK, we’re exaggerating that, but our beloved state of California is home to this incredible hike. It ends with some beautiful views of Yosemite Valley at the top of Half Dome, but be careful not to fall on your way up! Many would argue the UC system is California’s pride and joy, but in light of the increasing inaccessibility of our public university system, we think we should be more proud of this beautiful hike.
Mordor, Middle Earth
Mordor is fictional, we know, but as probably one of the most dangerous hikes in the fictional world, we’d love to see Janet Napolitano and crew carry each other up. Just as Sam and Frodo learned the true meaning of struggle and loyalty, maybe they’ll learn a little something about the struggle students face every day, like battling against a system that constantly puts energy and resources into making UC Berkeley more unsupportive of its students. We aren’t exactly comparing the UC Board of Regents with Sauron and the evils of Mordor and students with the Fellowship of the Ring, but if the hiking boot fits, wear it.
Be warned — all of these hikes (but not Mordor for obvious reasons), will cost lots of money. You’ll need permits to access the trails, plane tickets or gas money to get to these places, harnesses and other hiking necessities and much much more. So, these trails are certainly not accessible for an out-of-state student paying $28,992 in tuition (not including housing, food and books) every semester. But hey — we’re sure many members of the Board of Regents can make the trip if they desire to! You know, because they aren’t paying tuition for themselves. They should go and experience trips we could only dream of going on after we’ve paid off our student debt — if we ever do. Lots of people come to some deep realizations at the tops of mountains, so if the regents go on one of these hikes, we can only hope that they come to the realization that what they’re doing isn’t good for students.