The UC Board of Regents will convene this week to approve the annual budget and discuss two key items about basic needs across UC campuses.
The regents will discuss the establishment of a basic needs committee. This committee of regents will be the first of its kind and will increase state involvement in providing students with basic needs, according to Student Regent Devon Graves, one of the authors of the item.
“(The item will) provide a strategic vision for campuses to understand what the Office of the President (is) and what direction they want campuses to go, in regards to financial aid, establishing basic needs centers, childcare and issues that our students are impacted by every single day,” Graves said.
Graves added that the committee is important because it gives the opportunity to discuss basic needs among just regents and chancellors. It also allows for the Board of Regents to be “public and transparent” in its intentions with basic needs.
The second basic needs item is titled “Hunger Free Campus” and will involve discussion about state allocation for basic needs. According to a 2015 survey conducted by the UC Global Food Initiative, 48 percent of UC undergraduate students are food insecure. The UC system has been trying to fight hunger on its campuses and has already allocated part of its budget toward basic needs, according to the notices.
As part of the item, the regents will assess last year’s allocation for basic needs as well as the 2019-20 budget for the program, according to Graves. They will also discuss sending a $15 million request to the governor for basic needs.
“It’s terrible to know that there are students that are attending the No. 1 public university in the world and they don’t have a stable living environment,” Graves said.
The discussion item on core education budget will highlight issues such as increasing enrollment, how to pay for student services and how many faculty members the UC system can hire. According to an email from UC Office of the President spokesperson Dianne Klein, the regents will discuss the budget for the university’s education, research and public service mission.
Klein said adequate funding for the university is needed in order to “keep California’s innovative economy thriving.” She added that university students and their families have a right to know how to plan long term for costs and services.
“We are at a critical time,” Klein said in the email. “After years of insufficient state funding, we now have a new governor coming into office. We want to work with him, and our state legislature, to ensure that current and future generations of UC students receive the same world-class education as did the generations before them.”