Already upset about the recent series of raises in tuition, notably the adjustments to the already contentious scheme of tiered cohort pricing, students could barely contain their frustration over the recent announcement by the UC Regents to “raise the winds”.
“Unfortunately when the state fails to provide the necessary funding for our system, we must find ways to maintain the necessary services of an educational institution without imposing total austerity measures. After serious evaluation, it would seem that in order for a university to be considered a university it must have a disproportionately large administration, some teachers, and campuses. What was not on that list was keeping ‘the winds’ down. We just couldn’t justify the tremendous expense of that kind of luxury, although it was no easy decision,” commented Regent Charles Thermal.
The “wind increase” policy is slated to go into full system-wide effect at the start of the 2016-17 Academic Year. In understanding the potential severity of this kind of change, the UC Regents decided to test its feasibility on a campus-by-campus basis, beginning with UCSD.
“What motivated our decision to start with UCSD? Well it’s the southernmost campus and according to our knowledge of the science of winds, winds are sort of a ‘the greater the north, the greater the wind’ type of thing. So by starting in the south, the risk is minimized,” said Executive Administrator on the UC Commission on Winds, Lucas Turbine.
Many remember the history of “the winds”, that began to haunt every UC campus from 1970 onwards after Governor Reagan blew off the State’s 1960 Master Plan in his “Great Guffaw of the Severance Seventies.” A cruel breeze followed. From thereon, small winds began to make their way onto campuses. Initially, most students were able to deal with the winds. Perhaps a bad hair day wasn’t all that much to handle, but winds that blew umbrellas inside out and winds that scattered papers just far enough away to require people to comically run after them increasingly became all too common over the next several decades.
The effect of the new raise in winds at UCSD was immediate. Students were literally windswept as the trial began late January, anticipated to conclude by the end of the 2015-16 Academic Year or quite possibly continue forever if the retroactive raise can be weathered by enough students.
“They just can’t do this. They can’t raise these winds without asking us, we have our rights. Before the recession the winds were much lower, and even much lower than that just some twenty five years ago. There was even a time of almost 112 years with no winds. Imagine that, a windless day. We can’t protest because our poster board signs were swept up by the wind. We can’t protest because a day with the winds leaves us winded enough. We can’t protest because our President Annie Randall, bless her 98 pound soul, was picked up by the winds and flung past Geisel towards Qualcomm, never to be seen again,” said Treasurer of Students Against Wind Raises, Alicia Mayor.
The consequences have not only had serious implications on student morale but also campus pride. Seeing Niki de Saint Phalle’s “Sun God” uprooted from the soil by a big gust of wind that carried it at nearly 65 mph towards Muir College, watching it crash into a sixth floor window of AP&M, and then seeing it immediately upon impact shatter into a million tiny little pieces is a sight that will stay with many students for a lifetime.
“We can’t just not raise the winds, we were forced into this situation by the negligence of the state. We need this funding to provide essential services for the students,” commented Tiffany Glaze, Assistant Secretary to Executive Associate Vice Chancellor of Price Center East.
At present time, it’s uncertain how long the winds will continue to be raised and how and if students will be able to afford the expense of buying another North Face windbreaker every three months.