A Simple Plan

Bryan wants to spend student fees on gourmet nuts for campus squirrels. Send him "One E-mail" at [email protected].

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ASUC last November allocated $50,000 to president Wally Adeyemo's One Campus Campaign without asking a few vital questions. Three months and $0 later, many students have been left asking what we probably should've asked more loudly from the outset: What is One Campus?

While vaguely billed as a campaign to draw together students, faculty and staff under the guise of programs and forums for the open exchange of ideas, the entire campaign is largely still a mystery and remains in its planning stages.

The campaign's disorganization and lack of focus don't bode well for students who want to see their student fees spent while they are still going to school here; imagine paying money for events that will take place after you graduate.

ASUC senators who originally allocated money to the president's vision have been left waiting for updates on the campaign. Some senators, such as Anand Upadhye, are concerned with the lack of progress One Campus has made and the shoddy planning it has gone through.

"It's the worst project the ASUC has never seen," Upadhye said. "I don't think (One Campus) had focus from the beginning or (that it has focus) now."

Things may be changing, albeit slowly. The first event billed under One Campus is scheduled to take place Monday, nearly halfway through the semester.

But chances are you haven't heard of or won't go to "The Gathering" with 100 College Black Men and Will Power-which, incidentally, isn't really the work of One Campus at all.

It seems that at some point Adeyemo decided One Campus would go from being a campaign to a big fat campus piggy bank.

"Instead of planning our own (One Campus) events, we decided to fund other student events with One Campus funds," Adeyemo said.

Cal-SERVE is bring The Gathering to campus, and the only tie One Campus has to the show is financial, a trend likely to continue with other parts of the campaign.

A more pressing question looms, however: Are the funds Adeyemo is spending being used wisely, with the unity of UC Berkeley in mind?

SB 61 calls for a week of forums dubbed "Exposing the Myth of Meritocracy," paid for predominantly by One Campus. No one really stopped to think about whether a forum on such divisive issues-increasing underrepresented minority student enrollment and eliminating the use of the SAT I requirement in UC-would really unite everyone. On the contrary, I think SB 61 will produce more conflict than it'll resolve, going against the focus of One Campus.

But for misguided appropriations that won't unify UC Berkeley, look no further than the Week of Service, a One Campus program taking place in March based on community service. The event managed to run up a price tag of $15,000, despite the fact that community service is traditionally unpaid labor.

Among notable elements of the Week of Service is "Homeless Day," in which Adeyemo and other student groups hope temporarily and naively to solve the problem of homelessness by throwing brown-bag lunches at homeless people at a cost to students of $1,250. While I don't see feeding the homeless as unifying the campus community, Adeyemo disagrees.

"Students want to see their (fees) put to good use in the community," Adeyemo said.

At this point, Adeyemo needs to get his act together, and things need to change. If One Campus was meant to be a loosely organized fund for random public-relations events, then it's working perfectly.

But if there's any truth to the intent of unifying UC Berkeley, One Campus certainly has a long way to go. There are a lot of questions regarding what One Campus is; at this point, the only sure thing Adeyemo's campaign has been and continues to be is a complete failure.

There are still two full, substantial months remaining in the semester, so the opportunity still remains for Adeyemo to redeem One Campus. I can only hope that he'll start by defining it in concrete terms and then work to make UC Berkeley the "one campus" he wants it to be.


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