Commentary: It’s all a matter of Priorities

imageUC Davis

Truth be told, I’m actually a big college football fan. In fact, I spent much of yesterday watching the first full day of college football. With that said, I also think that most universities place too much of a priority on things such as their football program, stadiums, etc. It is one thing for the big programs with huge endowments to spend millions on it, but for the average school, their sports programs is not a net revenue generator.

In any case, I don’t have a general problem building new facilities and stadiums, however it is interesting when a university has no trouble finding say $31 million to build a new stadium, but cannot find a few million to improve the salaries of some of their employees who are making meager wages at best. That is where I start to have a bit of a problem with our priorities.

So, if you didn’t know, the UC Davis Aggies yesterday opened their new $31 million facility with a loss. They do this ironically the same week as they announced a $2 million agreement with Sodexho–an agreement reached with absolutely no input from their food service worker employees.

Now you’ll argue with me, if you’re so inclined, that the money comes from different places, that a large amount of the money was raised privately, that some of the money actually did come from student fee hikes, and I don’t argue that a bit. But it also proves my point–we find ways to fund new stadiums, we find ways not to raise the wages and health care benefits for workers.

It’s the same at any level, we find sponsors to construct new gyms and stadiums at all levels of athletics from junior high to high school to college to pros. But when it comes to raising money for things that make a difference in people’s lives, we never seem to quite find the money.

And gain I say, I love college football, but if you can find and raise $31 million for a football stadium at UC Davis, which is not going to generate huge revenue for the university. Can we not find an additional million to help those workers achieve their goal of being university employees? Do they deserve any less than the football players and the soccer players and the others who will utilize the new facility? It’s all a matter of priorities…

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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80 comments

  1. Alot of the employees of Sodexho would not be hired by the University. In addition to students, Sodexho has programs to utilize various segments of the workforce that the University would never hire.

  2. Alot of the employees of Sodexho would not be hired by the University. In addition to students, Sodexho has programs to utilize various segments of the workforce that the University would never hire.

  3. Alot of the employees of Sodexho would not be hired by the University. In addition to students, Sodexho has programs to utilize various segments of the workforce that the University would never hire.

  4. Alot of the employees of Sodexho would not be hired by the University. In addition to students, Sodexho has programs to utilize various segments of the workforce that the University would never hire.

  5. UC Davis is the only UC that does not have this agreement. As an alum, all I can say, is what a shame! And now, the $31 million dollar stadium…not to mention the huge salaries that administrators get…

    What a disgrace!

  6. UC Davis is the only UC that does not have this agreement. As an alum, all I can say, is what a shame! And now, the $31 million dollar stadium…not to mention the huge salaries that administrators get…

    What a disgrace!

  7. UC Davis is the only UC that does not have this agreement. As an alum, all I can say, is what a shame! And now, the $31 million dollar stadium…not to mention the huge salaries that administrators get…

    What a disgrace!

  8. UC Davis is the only UC that does not have this agreement. As an alum, all I can say, is what a shame! And now, the $31 million dollar stadium…not to mention the huge salaries that administrators get…

    What a disgrace!

  9. “But when it comes to raising money for things that make a difference in people’s lives, we never seem to quite find the money.”

    Your 100% wrong, you can’t not teach many of the skills young people will need in this century if you do not support facilities that allow those activities to happen they will have a much smaller chance to learn at the k-12 level.

    We have to teach our kids how to compete, how to work in teams, how to be leaders and how to follow. What better place to teach kids those essential 21st century skills than either on a sports field or working on as a team on the school play.

    I do agree that UCD should focus on having great programs for the students, and good salaries for the sodexho works.

    But blaming their plight on the Football or soccer teams is wrong.

  10. “But when it comes to raising money for things that make a difference in people’s lives, we never seem to quite find the money.”

    Your 100% wrong, you can’t not teach many of the skills young people will need in this century if you do not support facilities that allow those activities to happen they will have a much smaller chance to learn at the k-12 level.

    We have to teach our kids how to compete, how to work in teams, how to be leaders and how to follow. What better place to teach kids those essential 21st century skills than either on a sports field or working on as a team on the school play.

    I do agree that UCD should focus on having great programs for the students, and good salaries for the sodexho works.

    But blaming their plight on the Football or soccer teams is wrong.

  11. “But when it comes to raising money for things that make a difference in people’s lives, we never seem to quite find the money.”

    Your 100% wrong, you can’t not teach many of the skills young people will need in this century if you do not support facilities that allow those activities to happen they will have a much smaller chance to learn at the k-12 level.

    We have to teach our kids how to compete, how to work in teams, how to be leaders and how to follow. What better place to teach kids those essential 21st century skills than either on a sports field or working on as a team on the school play.

    I do agree that UCD should focus on having great programs for the students, and good salaries for the sodexho works.

    But blaming their plight on the Football or soccer teams is wrong.

  12. “But when it comes to raising money for things that make a difference in people’s lives, we never seem to quite find the money.”

    Your 100% wrong, you can’t not teach many of the skills young people will need in this century if you do not support facilities that allow those activities to happen they will have a much smaller chance to learn at the k-12 level.

    We have to teach our kids how to compete, how to work in teams, how to be leaders and how to follow. What better place to teach kids those essential 21st century skills than either on a sports field or working on as a team on the school play.

    I do agree that UCD should focus on having great programs for the students, and good salaries for the sodexho works.

    But blaming their plight on the Football or soccer teams is wrong.

  13. sigh… I am sure it was just the ridiculous heat or just your disappointment over the Aggie loss that compelled you to post this. Sadly, it makes no sense.

    Linking a football stadium which was largely funded by alumni support and student fees with the Sodexho wage hike is just wrong.

    Students were given a choice, and they voted to increase their fees to pay for the stadium (as well as the ARC and other facilities).

    The nonsensical Sodexho protests simply demanded more money to come from Santa Claus. If the supporters of the increase had been honest and told students the significant cost that the students would have to pay to give the protesters all that they wanted, I really doubt many students would have showed up in support of the workers (or to leave Iraq, depending on which what they were actually chanting).

    In short- I declare shenanigans. If the workers are worth having a pay hike, great, let the students know they are going to subsidize the hike and give them a choice in the matter. As entertaining as the protests were, they simply don’t compare with even a losing game at the new stadium.

    I think people put their money in the right place- the new stadium is a good choice.

  14. sigh… I am sure it was just the ridiculous heat or just your disappointment over the Aggie loss that compelled you to post this. Sadly, it makes no sense.

    Linking a football stadium which was largely funded by alumni support and student fees with the Sodexho wage hike is just wrong.

    Students were given a choice, and they voted to increase their fees to pay for the stadium (as well as the ARC and other facilities).

    The nonsensical Sodexho protests simply demanded more money to come from Santa Claus. If the supporters of the increase had been honest and told students the significant cost that the students would have to pay to give the protesters all that they wanted, I really doubt many students would have showed up in support of the workers (or to leave Iraq, depending on which what they were actually chanting).

    In short- I declare shenanigans. If the workers are worth having a pay hike, great, let the students know they are going to subsidize the hike and give them a choice in the matter. As entertaining as the protests were, they simply don’t compare with even a losing game at the new stadium.

    I think people put their money in the right place- the new stadium is a good choice.

  15. sigh… I am sure it was just the ridiculous heat or just your disappointment over the Aggie loss that compelled you to post this. Sadly, it makes no sense.

    Linking a football stadium which was largely funded by alumni support and student fees with the Sodexho wage hike is just wrong.

    Students were given a choice, and they voted to increase their fees to pay for the stadium (as well as the ARC and other facilities).

    The nonsensical Sodexho protests simply demanded more money to come from Santa Claus. If the supporters of the increase had been honest and told students the significant cost that the students would have to pay to give the protesters all that they wanted, I really doubt many students would have showed up in support of the workers (or to leave Iraq, depending on which what they were actually chanting).

    In short- I declare shenanigans. If the workers are worth having a pay hike, great, let the students know they are going to subsidize the hike and give them a choice in the matter. As entertaining as the protests were, they simply don’t compare with even a losing game at the new stadium.

    I think people put their money in the right place- the new stadium is a good choice.

  16. sigh… I am sure it was just the ridiculous heat or just your disappointment over the Aggie loss that compelled you to post this. Sadly, it makes no sense.

    Linking a football stadium which was largely funded by alumni support and student fees with the Sodexho wage hike is just wrong.

    Students were given a choice, and they voted to increase their fees to pay for the stadium (as well as the ARC and other facilities).

    The nonsensical Sodexho protests simply demanded more money to come from Santa Claus. If the supporters of the increase had been honest and told students the significant cost that the students would have to pay to give the protesters all that they wanted, I really doubt many students would have showed up in support of the workers (or to leave Iraq, depending on which what they were actually chanting).

    In short- I declare shenanigans. If the workers are worth having a pay hike, great, let the students know they are going to subsidize the hike and give them a choice in the matter. As entertaining as the protests were, they simply don’t compare with even a losing game at the new stadium.

    I think people put their money in the right place- the new stadium is a good choice.

  17. Many students do not actually pay student fees – their parents do. I know the students were allowed to vote on the $31 million football stadium, but the parents were not given a choice. I assume the parents would have voted a resounding NO!

    A $31 million computer lab focusing on SAP and Oracle database skills and teaching 400-500 students per year would contibute much more than a grand stand for Larry Vanderhoef and 45-50 football players.

  18. Many students do not actually pay student fees – their parents do. I know the students were allowed to vote on the $31 million football stadium, but the parents were not given a choice. I assume the parents would have voted a resounding NO!

    A $31 million computer lab focusing on SAP and Oracle database skills and teaching 400-500 students per year would contibute much more than a grand stand for Larry Vanderhoef and 45-50 football players.

  19. Many students do not actually pay student fees – their parents do. I know the students were allowed to vote on the $31 million football stadium, but the parents were not given a choice. I assume the parents would have voted a resounding NO!

    A $31 million computer lab focusing on SAP and Oracle database skills and teaching 400-500 students per year would contibute much more than a grand stand for Larry Vanderhoef and 45-50 football players.

  20. Many students do not actually pay student fees – their parents do. I know the students were allowed to vote on the $31 million football stadium, but the parents were not given a choice. I assume the parents would have voted a resounding NO!

    A $31 million computer lab focusing on SAP and Oracle database skills and teaching 400-500 students per year would contibute much more than a grand stand for Larry Vanderhoef and 45-50 football players.

  21. Mike-

    Is juicing up a 21st century skill?

    DPD-

    The University found the money for the stadium, the same way they are threatening to find money for th Sodexho raise…student fees. But, as UCD is already the most expensive UC in regards to campus based fees, and given that the Regents are still made at Larry for raising fees fro D-1, I don’t think Larry has the ability to raise fees to pay for a wage increase. So that threat is moot.

  22. Mike-

    Is juicing up a 21st century skill?

    DPD-

    The University found the money for the stadium, the same way they are threatening to find money for th Sodexho raise…student fees. But, as UCD is already the most expensive UC in regards to campus based fees, and given that the Regents are still made at Larry for raising fees fro D-1, I don’t think Larry has the ability to raise fees to pay for a wage increase. So that threat is moot.

  23. Mike-

    Is juicing up a 21st century skill?

    DPD-

    The University found the money for the stadium, the same way they are threatening to find money for th Sodexho raise…student fees. But, as UCD is already the most expensive UC in regards to campus based fees, and given that the Regents are still made at Larry for raising fees fro D-1, I don’t think Larry has the ability to raise fees to pay for a wage increase. So that threat is moot.

  24. Mike-

    Is juicing up a 21st century skill?

    DPD-

    The University found the money for the stadium, the same way they are threatening to find money for th Sodexho raise…student fees. But, as UCD is already the most expensive UC in regards to campus based fees, and given that the Regents are still made at Larry for raising fees fro D-1, I don’t think Larry has the ability to raise fees to pay for a wage increase. So that threat is moot.

  25. Anonymous 11:29 AM said: I know the students were allowed to vote on the $31 million football stadium, but the parents were not given a choice. I assume the parents would have voted a resounding NO!

    Why would you assume that the parents would have voted a resounding NO? Not just NO, a resounding NO! A lab for SAP or Oracle database skills would be a worthwhile thing for 400-500 students a year, but to say the stadium is for Larry and 45-50 football players is off the mark. It’s for the 5000 plus students and supporters that attend each football game and a lesser number that will attend other events throughout the year. A balanced blend of academics and sports is good for the university and the community. Many outstanding universities have great sport venues for the student-athletes. Let’s not single out the stadium as the culprit for deficiencies in other areas.

    G&S said: Is juicing up a 21st century skill?
    The overwhelming majority of the atlethes that I know don’t fit your biased opinion.

  26. Anonymous 11:29 AM said: I know the students were allowed to vote on the $31 million football stadium, but the parents were not given a choice. I assume the parents would have voted a resounding NO!

    Why would you assume that the parents would have voted a resounding NO? Not just NO, a resounding NO! A lab for SAP or Oracle database skills would be a worthwhile thing for 400-500 students a year, but to say the stadium is for Larry and 45-50 football players is off the mark. It’s for the 5000 plus students and supporters that attend each football game and a lesser number that will attend other events throughout the year. A balanced blend of academics and sports is good for the university and the community. Many outstanding universities have great sport venues for the student-athletes. Let’s not single out the stadium as the culprit for deficiencies in other areas.

    G&S said: Is juicing up a 21st century skill?
    The overwhelming majority of the atlethes that I know don’t fit your biased opinion.

  27. Anonymous 11:29 AM said: I know the students were allowed to vote on the $31 million football stadium, but the parents were not given a choice. I assume the parents would have voted a resounding NO!

    Why would you assume that the parents would have voted a resounding NO? Not just NO, a resounding NO! A lab for SAP or Oracle database skills would be a worthwhile thing for 400-500 students a year, but to say the stadium is for Larry and 45-50 football players is off the mark. It’s for the 5000 plus students and supporters that attend each football game and a lesser number that will attend other events throughout the year. A balanced blend of academics and sports is good for the university and the community. Many outstanding universities have great sport venues for the student-athletes. Let’s not single out the stadium as the culprit for deficiencies in other areas.

    G&S said: Is juicing up a 21st century skill?
    The overwhelming majority of the atlethes that I know don’t fit your biased opinion.

  28. Anonymous 11:29 AM said: I know the students were allowed to vote on the $31 million football stadium, but the parents were not given a choice. I assume the parents would have voted a resounding NO!

    Why would you assume that the parents would have voted a resounding NO? Not just NO, a resounding NO! A lab for SAP or Oracle database skills would be a worthwhile thing for 400-500 students a year, but to say the stadium is for Larry and 45-50 football players is off the mark. It’s for the 5000 plus students and supporters that attend each football game and a lesser number that will attend other events throughout the year. A balanced blend of academics and sports is good for the university and the community. Many outstanding universities have great sport venues for the student-athletes. Let’s not single out the stadium as the culprit for deficiencies in other areas.

    G&S said: Is juicing up a 21st century skill?
    The overwhelming majority of the atlethes that I know don’t fit your biased opinion.