Alumni Play Key Role in UC Advocacy Movement

Efforts to build support for restoring funding to UC and UC Santa Barbara have been gaining momentum with the launch of an online, grassroots movement to educate lawmakers and the public about all the ways that UC serves California and its people.

Alumni and volunteer advocates are vitally important to the University's efforts to increase and strengthen support for its teaching, research and public service missions.

The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara will continue to build on UCSB's strengths while developing new opportunities for creativity and innovation. It will support transformational research across the disciplines, dedicated teaching, and public service to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of California and our global society.

"There is no one better to tell UC's story than the people who are benefiting from the (government) funds we receive: the students, researchers and faculty," said Gary Falle, associate vice president of federal governmental relations.

The University of California is calling on all students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to unite behind the UC for California campaign, an aggressive push to make funding UC a state priority.

The UC for California Alliance is an organization of UC parents, alumni, students, faculty, and business leaders. Its objective is to build enduring, broad-based financial, legislative and constituent support for the University to ensure that access to a quality education is preserved.

"While I appreciate the fiscal challenges that confront California, it must be made clear that UC is not a luxury," said UC President Mark G. Yudof. "It is an investment — the best investment this state can make in its future."

The campaign seeks to build the ranks of the nearly 200,000 advocates who already have lent their support to UC.

If you'd like to join them, here are a few simple things you can do:

Join the Stand up for UC campaign by "liking" the UC for California Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6756592601
More than 1,400 supporters have done it. Watch their videos and see what they're saying about why the university is important to California's future.

Add your voice to the conversation by posting a comment or uploading your own video on the UC for California Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6756592601

Sign up to become a UC advocate or a member of the UCSB Advocacy Network. http://www.ucforcalifornia.org/ucsb/mlm/signup

Send a letter to your legislators encouraging them to find a budget solution that doesn't just cut but rather preserves California's higher education investment.

Follow UC for California on Twitter for advocacy and UC news updates. http://twitter.com/#!/ucforca

The advocacy campaign uses a variety of ways to let legislators know why the university matters to California and deserves its financial support, including letter-writing campaigns and visits to lawmakers.

On UC Day in March, hundreds of alumni joined UC administrators and staff in Sacramento for an event highlighting the university's contributions to the state and its people.

The alumni, faculty, staff and students participating in UC Day focused on reminding Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature about the impact UC has had on the economic and cultural life of California, and voicing concerns about the effect the deep cuts will have on the university's ability to serve the state and its people.

In April, students and campus leaders from UC, CSU and the community colleges met with lawmakers to talk about the importance of affordable, accessible education.

During UC Day in D.C. in June, more than 80 University of California leaders and advocates from all 10 campuses mobilized forces on Capitol Hill to push for strong, sustainable federal funding for education and research.

As part of UC Day in D.C. 2011, a diverse team of students, veterans, alumni, faculty, staff, researchers as well as senior leaders met with all 55 members of the California delegation as well as UC alumni in Congress, including those on key committees, over two days. The delegates discussed how vital the federal partnership is and shared how UC makes a difference in education and research on critical issues facing California and the country.

Closer to UC Santa Barbara, the UCSB Advocacy Network seeks to enhance public understanding of and support for the University of California and UC Santa Barbara. The Advocacy Network is comprised of alumni and friends of UC Santa Barbara who volunteer their time to work with the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association and the UC Santa Barbara Office of Governmental Relations.

Through letters, phone calls, and visits, UC Santa Barbara advocates help convey UC and campus specific messages to local, state and federal government representatives regarding legislative and budget initiatives which affect the mission and activities of the University of California and the campus.

UC advocates are using social media to tell lawmakers what's at stake, and why UC is important to them, their families, their students, their communities and the state of California. You can view their videos and comments on the UC for California Facebook page.

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