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View Full Version : Regents scholars, go suck on a lemon full of spit!


even sven
09-01-2000, 03:29 AM
I go to University of California, Santa Cruz. At this public university, like all University of California campuses there are two classes of students. There are the normal, everyday students who made the entrance requirements and are now working hard to pursue their degrees, and there are the ones that are more important than us. These special beings, called "Regents Scholars" are chosen by god for every special privilege known to man.

First, they get full-ride scholarships. I am cool with that. People that did well in school ought to be rewarded. Even if they largely come from rich schools. Even if the SATs are race/class biased. Heck, I'm in school by the grace of grants, and I think that anyone willing to put forth the effort ought to get a free education.

But that is not all. For some reason these blessed creatures get to sign up for classes before anyone else. Class sizes are severely limited, and not everyone gets in the classes they want. That's one of the reasons why graduating in four years is a rarity. Normally the seniors, who are rushing to meet all their graduation requirements go first, then it goes down the seniority ladder (at Santa Cruz, many universities put freshmen before sophomores). I've had times where I have not been able to get into ANY of the classes that I wanted, nor ANY of my alternates. That happens and we all go through it. I understand that. On the first day of class, there can be as many as fifty people trying to "crash" a class and enroll when people drop out. But the sacred regents scholars wouldn't know anything about that. They sign up for classes during "priority enrollment". That means they ALWAYS get into every class they want to. That means if twenty regents scholars sign up for the limited enrollment poetry class, no one else even gets a chance. That means that the freshman regents scholar who sits in his room smoking pot all day is more important than the senior who has just one more class she needs before she graduates. The regents scholar takes precedence over every one of the writhing masses that also gained admission into the university. Now the disabled and those with learning disabilities get "priority enrollment" as well, but presumably they have a true NEED to be in certain classes. Regents scholars get to sign up before the rest of the world just 'cos they are special and we're not.

Ah! You think that is the end of it? By no means. Santa Cruz is an incredibly tight housing market, as is Berkeley (I have no info on the other University of California campuses). We have something like a less than one percent vacancy rate of places to live in off-campus. People looking to rent apartments or houses have to make packets complete with resumes, letters of recommendation, photos and personal statements. And this is just to be considered. Add that to the fact that lots of people refuse to rent to students. Add to that that campus is a long ways away from town and if you are not on a major bus route and do not have a car (and a $500 parking permit, which are given out on a limited basis and are not guaranteed) it is almost impossible to get on campus. On campus housing is very much in demand. They have turned a lot of rooms meant for one or two into rooms for three. They are turning the lounges into "quad" rooms for four people. But you still are guaranteed just one year on campus. After that there is a lottery system and the chances of making it are slim. If your not on campus it is off to look for a converted closet in town for $1,300 a month.

But not for our special ones. For some reason, unknown by humankind, regents scholars get four years of guaranteed on campus housing. That's right, they will never have to find a place to live. They don't have to apply for housing and hope. They can sit, until the end of their senior year in a space that I, and the great masses of Santa Cruz, can only dream of. They are the chosen ones. A class of people given privileges not according to need, but according to the fact that they are simply more important than the other students that continue paying their tuition each year to attend Santa Cruz's fine institution.

What's next? People to go to class for regents scholars so that they can spend more time sitting in their rooms smoking pot? A fleet of special shuttles for them so that they don't have to ride with us common folks of (god forbid) walk from their guaranteed home to their guaranteed classes? Perhaps helicopters would be better. Maybe the school can set up a special library for them, so that the books they need for research are never checked out or on reserve.

I just can't understand why these people get random special privileges that no one else gets just because. They oftentimes don't even come from California! But hey, they never have to pay the out of state tuition fees. That and Santa Cruz actually holds special recruitment days for them. On "Regent Scholar Preview Day" we set up huge candlelit tiki shrines in out dorm windows and danced around half naked and chanting in public places on the hope that we might scare them away. Ugh! Regents scholars (and heck, the regents, as well), go suck on a lemon full of spit!

capybara
09-01-2000, 11:00 AM
They get special perks because they are being recruited and bribed by the school because they are the ones that make the school look better, the ones with the 1580 SATs that drag SC's average up above the overall average, so that your degree looks more prestigious. You can understand why the school would want to do this-- it's the only way they can get a student to go to Santa Cruz instead of Scripps, Antioch or Princeton, if they have the option (I say this as a grad student who was just convinced to go to a UC school instead of a private east coast U due to a very tempting preemptive-strike sort of offer).
The thing about registration there does suck ass, though. I guess the school recognizes the biggest problems students face and smooth them over for the Wunderkinder (housing is a big one in Santa Barbara, too), so it's predictable.
Remember, these guys never get laid and they never get invited to parties and are probably always being contacted by Campus Crusade and Young Republicans. That might make you feel better. If you talk to one make sure to ask why on earth they are going to UCSC, and then either make them feel like a whore ("Just for money? You could do so much better, couldn't you?. . .") or dumb ("Oh, you didn't get funded at Bennington? That's a competetive school, though, isn't it?").

Quin City
09-05-2000, 11:19 PM
The cartoon I liked best in college was by Phil Frank (who does the Farley comic strip in the San Francisco Chronicle&Examiner)

There's three doors in the hallway:
MENWOMENMERIT SCHOLARS
And one guy says to the other, "Well, it's about time!"

Kyla
09-06-2000, 02:11 AM
Hey, Sven, whatchoo talkin' about? As far as I know, everyone at Santa Cruz has four-year guaranteed housing, not just Regents scholars. I know *I* had four years guaranteed, and I sure as hell wasn't a Regents scholar. I blew it by spending my third year on EAP, though.

Sorry about your bad experiences. Personally, I got into every single class I ever wanted to take and put in a serious effort to try to get into. I've never thought a single bad thought about Regents scholars, they had absolutely zero affect on my college experience. I know getting into classes can be hard sometimes, but just check Teleslug every half hour - people do drop courses, and if you're paying attention, you can get in. Bookmark the website and just keep checking until there's room. Personal experience shows this method works! Attend the course regularly and chat with the teacher after class, and go to office hours. Explain that you're really interested in the course material, and that you desperately need it for your major, and they might overlook having an extra person and give you the permission code.

Good luck.

~Kyla
UCSC Oakes Class of '00

Kyla
09-06-2000, 02:15 AM
I forgot it's the Pit. I have nothing against the Scholars, but fuck the Regents! The University of California must have the biggest asshole Regents of any university around.

NicePete
09-06-2000, 09:16 AM
Right On Sven!

I mean, how dare a university treat its outstanding students as well as it treats its atheletes!

I'm from the SEC, where only football and basketball players get that type of treatment. And that's the way God wants it.

Fuckin' pointy headed intellectuals. Always fightin' ignorance and the like.

even sven
09-06-2000, 05:48 PM
Four years of garaunteed houseing ended with the freshmen entering in 97. Now we are garaunteed just one. Lots of things are changeing, especially with the mad-rapid expansion of the student body. Imagine my surprise when an older student visited my five-person occupancy on-campus aprtment (in Kresge) and told me that when she lived there it was an apartment for three.

MK- great suggestions, but they all involve insulting myself. I think that UCSC is a great school and is really the best place for some people to be. For example, the emphasis is on academics in a variety of ways. We dont have a football team and our athletes (We do have a great extreme frisbee team) are treated like normal people who are expected to put classes first. Although grades are an option, the default is pass/no record with a narrative evaluation. This way the emphasis is on learning the subject, not getting a 87% up to a 95%. The evals provide much more information than grades about stregths and weakenesses, essay content and quality and other things that cannot be conveyed by a simple letter. UCSC is not simply a slacker school. But enough ranting. I think there are a lot of reasons a regents scholar would go to UCSC besides money.

Ugh! I'm all about giving them scholarships, even nice fat scholarships (although I think they ought to go to California students). I just cant understand the wierd privalages. If our athletes were given those, I would complain as well, but they are not. We all passed the entrance requirements and were accepted. We all pay our tutition (in one way or another) so why on earth does group A get all kinds of wierd perks that screw the vast majority.

Oh yeah, they get the best cousellers, too. We all have to put out names on a waiting list to see someone, but they go right to the head of the line.

And Fuck the Regents, as well. The UC regents in general are a ollective satan incarnate.

All this comeing from the one that truely BELIEVES in public education, too....oh well....

MovieMogul
12-05-2000, 10:34 AM
even sven,

As a former Regents scholar at UCB, I am wondering how many of the assertions you make in your OP are actually based in fact.

For many of the things, you claim (financial "free ride", unlimited priority) were myths bouncing around campus when I was enrolled--almost none of which were true.

The $ we got was nice, but certainly didn't cover tuition (and this was back when UC fees for in-state residents were a mere fraction of what they are now); I find it rather dubious that UC--with its ever increasing fees--would increase exponentially the amount of money it devoted to Regents scholarships when they didn't even cover fees back in a time when it was much more affordable (for the record, 1988 was when I entered).

Also, priority enrollment wasn't carte blanche--there were conditions, restrictions, etc. No senior needing a course for fulfilling a major would've been displaced by a freshman for that reason.

As for guaranteed housing, I don't know of a single Regents scholar who actually lived on campus for all four years (I'm sure there were a few, but they were definitely in the rare minority). Your characterization notwithstanding, RS are students like everyone else, and the idea of staying in a dorm for 4-5 years (housing crunch or no) didn't appeal to most of us (especially if it meant rooming with a freshman while doing our Honors Thesis)

In fact, the only "weird" priviledge I had was being allowed to directly access the UCB Main Library stacks--and that was only because there was no aisle/study space anywhere (just wall-to-wall books). Since then, UCB has a new library facility, making that perk moot.

One thing, of course, you didn't mention was that RS are not guaranteed their scholarships for the four years. I had to maintain a certain GPA to keep the scholarship--which means I had to work to keep that money. Free ride? Not exactly. (I don't know how it works with UCSC since, IIRC, you've still got that non-grading thing going there).

Of course, none of this ever stopped people from acting as "authorities" on what Regents Scholars were/received/did to get it (grades, essay, & interview in my case). Things may be substantially different now on your campus (though I spent enough time hanging out at Porter with a USCS RS to suspect otherwise), but we never considered ourselves "special" or "sacred", and I know for a fact our atheletes were treated with 200% more priviledges than I could ever dream of.

Sounds like someone needs to channel that bitterness towards slightly more productive and valid ends (Lord knows you've got enough options out there in your neck of the woods)

Giraffe
12-05-2000, 11:42 AM
ArchiveGuy is exactly right. I too had a Regents' Scholarship at UCB (91-95). There were some perks -- I got to live in the newer dorms my first two years. My course registration date was a bit earlier than my friends. I got stack access, although they opened it to all students my first year, so it wasn't anything special.

However, it really wasn't that big a deal. I didn't know anyone who didn't get to live in the dorms their first couple of years if they wanted to. The worst that happened was they lived in the older, smellier dorms. (Almost no one stayed in the dorms more than two years.) As for course registration, I still couldn't get into some classes, and still spent the early part of most semesters switching my schedule around and begging professors to let me add their course.

Plus, Regents' Scholars don't get a full financial ride. The Regents' Scholarship will cover all of your "financial need", assessed according to their formula, which is simplistic. I had no official "financial need", so I got the minimum $500/semester. (My parents couldn't afford to pay for more than a fraction of my college costs, so I worked 20 hours/week to make up the difference.) Ironically, this also meant I couldn't get student loans or workstudy, as when I went to talk to financial aid, they said "oh, don't worry -- if you need money, we'll just give it to you! But you don't, so go away."

And the Regents' masseuse sometimes used this low quality massage oil that irritated my skin. :)

As ArchiveGuy said, unless things are vastly different at UCSC, you're getting all worked up over an imaginary evil.

MovieMogul
12-05-2000, 07:54 PM
Hey there, Giraffe

I didn't want to mention something so UCB specific, but the misinformation about RS was so pervasive, they assumed all of them went to Clark Kerr (or in your case, I'm assuming Foothill). Well guess where this Regents Scholar got placed?

Unit One!

Not that I regret it at all (despite your unfair "smelly" dorm characterization :) ); having lived or spent significant amounts of time in the others, I vastly preferred the community feeling of the highrises.

I can relate to the naive financial aid "formula" used (which, IIRC, came down to assessing your parents' assets, as if they were actually going to help :rolleyes: ). In addition to being on hall staff for 3 years, I worked in the Bears Lair, Zellerbach, the Greek Theatre, and all sorts of SUPERB and CalPerformances events to make ends meet.

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