Coastlines Online, UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association


Fall 2016
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Letters To The Editor Fall 2016

The Power Of Pronouns

Politically Correct “Bullcarp”

I was extremely disappointed that Coastlines has decided to feature a story on identity based upon pronouns.

“Words construct our identities.” Words do NOT define me. Did they define Helen Keller? The very opening premise of the article was distasteful and offensive to me.

The amount of politically correct bullcarp (and I use this term as a substitute because the term I want to use is uncivil) that pervades my alma mater has motivated me to write this letter as a response to the unmitigated disaster of tolerance ad absurdum has brought to education.

The propagation of this tripe masquerading as educational “progress and challenges at UCSB” defines Generation “Snowflake” as the first generation that will be unable to cope with real world challenges and impede progress towards overcoming problems. Self-definition is fine, but the world also defines people as well, and “expressions of possibility” meet reality one day.

It is my hope and prayer that UCSB progresses to an institution where people can meet, debate and challenge ideas that disagree with them, rather than becoming a “safe space” for identity-confused individuals to cower and hide from the real world.



We’ve Come a Long Way

Who would’ve thought? Pronouns and LGB/T and queer folks on the cover and inside of Coastlines! The photos and bios are beautifully rendered, as is the article. Please convey this alumna’s appreciation to editor and writer Marge Pamintuan Perko.

We’ve come a long way from the GLB Center to the fully-supported Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity.

As one of the co-founders of Eucalyptus (the first cross-constituency committee of staff, faculty, administrators and students, empaneled by then-Vice Chancellor Michael Young) back in the day, and a co-convener of gay, lesbian and bisexual programs and safe spaces throughout the 1980s (when I was at the Rape Prevention Education Program coordinator at the Women’s Center), I’m thrilled to see our visibility coming out to all Coastlines readers, across the years!



Thank You

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the very inspiring article about gender pronouns and identity in this month’s Coastline magazine.

I was very pleased to see RCSGD receive the attention and praise it so deserves for all the support and resources that are offered to our UCSB student population.

And the individual staff articles were also really wonderful. Marjan Riazi is a very special and talented person and we are so proud of the work she is doing for the Alcohol and Drug Program on our campus and in our community.

Thank you for highlighting the work of some of the outstanding staff on our campus.

Best regards,



UC Santa Barbara’s True Transition Class

Ken Khachigian '66

Thank you for the wonderful article by Ken Khachigian on the “Transition Class” of 1966. It brought back many happy memories. However, I would argue that the real Class of Transition was 1967. Consider that in the fall of our freshman year President Kennedy was killed. Classes were dismissed over that week, and I took the twelve hour Greyhound Bus ride back home, where I spent my 18th birthday watching Kennedy’s funeral.

But more significant for the UC was the fact that candidate for governor Ronald Reagan campaigned on an explicitly anti-UC platform. He promised to impose tuition for the first time in UC’s history – and he did. I and many fellow UC students from all of the UC campuses drove to Sacramento to oppose this precedent-setting decision. Reagan also fired the foremost educational thinker of the time, Clark Kerr – president of the UC and one of the architects of the Master Plan, which was such a “good deal” for UC students.

UC’s good deal was particularly fortunate for my family. My father had three children born within 18 months of each other to educate. He was a foreman for the California Division of Highways (now CalTrans) with a modest salary. My mother had taken a job as a medical records librarian in a 20-bed hospital in rural Bridgeport, California. Ours was not a wealthy family.

The fee at UC was $99 per semester. It was specifically not tuition. It was called an “incidental fee.” Students had to pay for books, housing, food and other costs, but there was not a prohibitive tuition. My brother and I, coming from a rural high school, were able to achieve debt-free master’s degrees and went on to 30-plus year careers in our chosen fields – physics, biology and library science. Ken is right. This would not be possible today.

Having spent my career in UC, I witnessed the continual trend of lessening state support for UC’S budge and commitment to the Master Plan from 1963 and the decision to impose tuition. Today, UC is prohibitively expensive for many middle-class families. There has even been a trend to admit more out-of-state students as a way to make up the loss of state funding. How I wish the same good deal that we had was available to students today. I date the rise in costs of a UC education to this transition in 1963.

Many of us in the class of 1967 regret that the signature on our diploma is not that of Edmund G. Brown, who was the governor when several new campuses such as UC San Diego and UC Irvine were started, and who brought political commitment to the Master Plan. Instead, our diploma was signed by Ronald Reagan, a man who significantly damaged our University and the compact with the citizens of California to educate its most promising ten percent of high school students at UC.