“SPACES” – A Waste of Space


by Ryan Harvard

Despite the suffering the student body faces every year due to budgetary cutbacks, many programs still skim outrageous amounts of money off the top while doing very little to enhance student life. One of the biggest offenders is SPACES, which, according to the budget the associated students passed for 2011-2012, had an allocated budget of $208,378 from student activity fees.

The director of SPACES made $35,527, and the assistant director made $35,364. The office fund manager salary was $9,387, and employee benefits totaled $32,914. Over $100,000 of the SPACES budget went into the pockets of administration rather than towards student life last year. With more student-run programs, these salaries could be nonexistent.

This year, the 2012-2013 budget encompasses $416,745, with the director receiving a $7,000 pay increase to $42,102, and includes several new positions for a new total of $275,484 going to overhead administrative costs. The co-editors-in-chief of SPACES’ newsletter The Collective Voice will take home paychecks upwards of $5,000 each for helping produce approximately three issues this year. Past articles such as “Discourse Analysis of an Image of Himba Women on the Travel Website Safari Drive” (volume five, issue one) remain largely unrelated to UCSD; the expensive newsletter as a whole is less of a “collective voice” and more of an “elitist bullshittery.” But this is just the tip of the SPACES iceberg.

Operating costs include $5,000 for office supplies – “Desk Supplies, Paper Cutter, Staples, etc.,” another $2,000 for “8 phone lines and phone bill,” and $7,000 for “staff retreats and training,” which is part of $16,000 going towards staff training and retention.

After the SPACES administration is well taken care of, ritzy office supplies purchased, and the staff takes several vacations on the students’ dollar, SPACES claims $77,430 of their $400,000 budget goes back towards students by way of student programs. This comprises 18% of SPACES’ total budget.

Programming events include the $16,800, two-night “overnight program” where 200 admitted high-school seniors get to stay on campus for free and take tours of the university. According to the SPACES website, the expensive program boasts several highlights including “eating in the dining halls and sleeping in on-campus residential halls” and “[participation] in social activities.” Obviously this is designed for most of the funding to go back into the pockets of administrators, since for $16,800 it’s reasonable to say that the event could be held in Las Vegas instead of a dorm.

While seventy percent of UCSD students have accepted some kind of financial aid or are financially struggling to make it through college (UCSD student profile 2011), it’s astounding how much money these programs blow through in only a few days. In fact, The Collective Voice alone spends more on just two editors’ salaries ($11,550 for the co-editors-in-chief) than all eleven student-run media orgs at UCSD will receive in fall quarter funding combined. ($10,883, Fall 2012.)

In troubling financial times, we have to re-prioritize the school’s budget. Are green initiatives really important when students are struggling to get into classes? Should SPACES be blowing through thousands of dollars on staff retreats when classes are struggling to hire TAs? By approving these outrageous expenditures and directing tuition cashflow away from students and back into UCSD’s coffers, it’s obvious AS only cares about trying to please the people who pay their salaries – the bloated upper administration.



  1. Boardclub isn’t getting any money from UCSD at the moment. The Mexico trip was a staff-only retreat, paid for by staff. We’re going to Montana (Big Sky), Tahoe, and either Big Bear or Mammoth this year if you’d like to snowboard or ski with us.

  2. Hey! Our booth is made out of snowboards!

  3. Jared Mimms · ·

    It sounds like SPACES is a socialist, even communist microcosm, nest, infestation that we as a community must smoke out before the sickle and star banner publicly flies at the epoch of our great school.

  4. Jared Mimms · ·

    Have the kids stay with existing students! Make this a volunteer, student run organization. SPACES should not exist. The program is wasteful and unnecessary. A simple web application pairing students with prospectives should suffice.

  5. have any of you actually participated in a spaces program or been to the center?

  6. UCSDstudent · ·

    Have you ever visited SPACES? Attended an over night program? Checked out The Collective Voice? Your argument superficially tries to make an invalid point. Work done at SPACES and other centers like it goes way beyond the time allocated to work there. The positions were created for a reason and seek to help ALL underrepresented students at the University. Students who work at SPACES do work that the admin do not do. It would be a privilege if centers like SPACES didn’t exist because that would mean that there would be diversity at UCSD. So please before you go on and criticize something, do your fair share of research or focus on other entities on campus that are much more threatening then SPACES.

  7. What does Board club have to do with any of this? If anything, we could use the money wasted on SPACES.

  8. The California Review · ·

    Just to clarify any confusion about SD Board Club – we asked an artist to make an image of “student orgs having their budgets cut” and he literally just went out to library walk and noted a few clubs he saw tabling that day, Board Club included. The image isn’t meant to be a criticism of the club in any way – the idea was to show how, funding-wise, student-run programs are being left out in the dust by the SPACES tuition vacuum. The joke was that, in the past, Board Club could use their operating funding to take trips to snowy places, but after funding cuts they could only afford to snowboard in Mexico (get it? No snow in Mexico… haaaaa) but it appears that is not the case, as their trips are privately funded. In any case, it’s just supposed to be a silly cartoon, so don’t overthink it. We apologize for any confusion on the matter, and wish our friends in Board Club a phenomenal winter season!

  9. Jared Mimms · ·

    We are criticizing an archaic program that can easily be streamlined with a simple student run web application: think airbnb for UCSD.

  10. Like others have said, have you ever visited SPACES and seen the work that they do? The overnight programs, like many of the student-run programs have a higher success rate than those run by the university. The programs wouldn’t cost as much if UCSD didn’t charge the center (its own students) to use facilties and dining. All this work was done for years by student organizations and the point of the center is to structure and unify the work while giving people SOME compensation for their work. If you go to SPACES you will learn that ALL of the staff, down to the interns, work more than their alotted hours without pay meaning they are still volunteering their time and much of the work is supported still by student orgs connected to the center which is all voluntary. Student fees pay for part of the center’s budget because of a student referendum passed in 2007 and $1 per student does truly go back to financial aid. This means that students agreed to send their fees to the center unlike most other programs and services on campus that we get charged for. If you look at any other center’s budget on campus, usually atleast 50% goes towards staffing and admin. SPACES is not perfect but I suggest you do more research besides reading the website before criticizing the center in the way that you have.

  11. Jared Mimms · ·

    also, shift the budget elsewhere – this is not a student org. this is the smartest man in the world talking. you would be wise to listen.

  12. Jared Mimms · ·

    You are making an assumption, making an ass out of me and you. I am a genius who has evaluated every variable, every angle and has visited the center. My solution works and will cut down on inefficiency. Listen to me and you will grow rich, ignore me and die.

  13. i was going to make the same argument, except for this newspaper.

  14. Jared Mimms is a leader of leaders. A lord of men. I would follow him.

  15. All hail Mimms – the voice of reason – repressed – never give up – our lord and savior.

  16. The Call Out Queen · ·

    This article is superficial and not even worth considering. You brought up The Collective Voice, that’s how much the co-editors earn for a whole year. Have you tried running a progressive newspaper with two people while balancing classes and trying to function in a university that deliberately is constantly hostile to under represented students? The lack of research from this laughable “article” is astounding. Take a class on journalism, or better yet, take some pointers from real journalists such as the Collective Voice co-editors.

  17. hail lord mimms.

  18. 1, the kids in SIAPS overnight program do stay with existing students. The cost of the program returns itself to the school by the high school students that end up coming to UCSD… but I can see where you with your point of view would find problems with that. 2,SPACES positions are nearly all student internships, so SPACES does give back to the community by giving job opportunites to learn and grow; complaining about that is like complaining that your student fees pay librarian assistant fees because you’ve never set foot in geisel. 3, it’s a little misleading to compare the collective voice co-editor’s pay for the whole year to that of clubs every quarter, because a) it’s not the same length of time at all, and b) it’s an internship, they’re being paid minimum wage an hour and they do and have done a lot of work, whereas the other publications are internships. 4, AS student fees aren’t going to go to TAs and class sizes; you can’t say, either spaces or more TAs! because that’s not how it works.

  19. lord mimms has spoken.

  20. I am assuming you have never been to the actual center, nor have you participated in any of the programs that SPACES puts on.

    The center is quite revolutionary in that it is only a few years old. UCLA also has a similar center that has been around for decades, and this center is modeled after that one.

    The center IS student run, with about 30ish part-time student positions, with each student staff required to put on at least one program per quarter. The center focuses on access and outreach, as well as retention, meaning it puts on programs for high school students to give them resources to attend higher education, and provides programs for UCSD students to help them succeed in college. They have workshops on time management, stress management, study skills, and more, and also have a booklending program that allows financially-constrained and low-income students borrow textbooks for a quarter to help offset the high costs of attending a university. The Overnight Program is co-hosted with other various UCSD departments such as admissions and housing, in order for students who have been accepted to UCSD to be paired with a host student and go to workshops and programs held by the various UCSD departments in order for them to get a sense of what UCSD is like. From what I know, this program is quite successful, with an 80-85% yield rate for program participants submitting their SIR to UCSD.

    Get your facts straight. I’m a participant of a few of their programs, and still use their booklending program today, and I’ve seen students go from their outreach programs to graduating from UCSD. If you don’t truly understand their budget, go ask them, I’m sure they’ll be willing to break it down for you. Even with other centers on campus or on other campuses, they probably have similar costs of running the center, such as phone lines and staff salaries. Stuff like that doesn’t come for free.

  21. how dare you doubt the word of Mimms. you are an ignorant fool. the centers will fall. they will not be funded with student org money. they are not student organizations. they will be replaced with a simple web app connecting prospectives with students invented by Mimms. Mimms has spoken. End of story.

  22. The Call Out Queen · ·

    Mimms is actually Honey Boo Boo Child HEY!!!!

  23. call out queen – you are infantile in your analysis and have insulted a great man. you will never grasp a higher level of consciousness than the entity you just described.

  24. The Call Out Queen · ·

    goeth, ae yu podle!? ongosh ucle podle i hre! ey hre coes oney bo oo! :3

  25. The Call Out Queen · ·

    geth ae yu cubbs?! i s hoey bo oo grlll lt’s o md simmin’ snce i o yu’r a g :3

  26. correlation does not mean causation. students who are really interested in the school will most likely want to visit through the SPACES program and will choose to accept their bids. the fact is – Mimms is right – the program is inefficient and is unjustly funded eith student org mlney. his solution is also right. high school students hate controlled environments and the illusion of control. by allowing them some freedom in choosing who they stay with through an airbnb like web application and dispelling psychological barriers of control, we can accommodate more prospective student visits at a fraction of the cost and pull in more accepted students of top quality. Mimms is a genius and is Amerizan royalty.

  27. The Call Out Queen · ·

    goeh! I men unle poole, e o u sin’! y a pig ayas :3

  28. The Call Out Queen · ·

    geh, onoo oo hre yu gts sme pschlgicl brries u i y as! yu btter rdnekz!

  29. your feeble attempts to bury progress will fail. even queens as your name suggests (although I see you as a pawn) have fallen on the chess board not only played on but created by the subject of your ridicule.

  30. this is a stupid article

  31. your spectacles are dirty, clean them · ·

    Pretty terrible yellow journalism. What high brow ivory tower deck does this writer look down from? It’s misinformation like this that destroys a sense of community within our campus, diffusing into our known apathetic campus climate.

    UCSD is fortunate to have a program like SPACES that actually invests time, money and energy to build student leaders from underrepresented and underserved communities; very few social justice-oriented programs invest time in nourishing minds about the importance of social justice, beyond the “celebrate all differences” diversity mindset our university parade. This is a sustainable, powerful investment–can you comment the same for conservative leaders and programs investing time, money and effort in nourishing their youth? Unless you are threatened by and fear such successful coalition building.

    Note that this is a student-run program; its student interns put time and effort beyond their UCSD minimum wages; the social justice praxis is no easy work for young student activists because they come to understand the inherent truth and system of UCSD and this world, and continue to fight against it–all the while balancing their academics, et cetera. SPACES is a needed space within the system for this very reason.

    From the way this poor “article” was written, this writer benefits from such oppressive systems and takes pleasure in perpetuating it. I’m sorry for you. Have you heard the term “kyriarchy”, I can smell such stench here. I hope you are more informed the next time you write about ANYTHING, i.e., get to know the faces of those places which you speak of so carelessly. No cookies for you

  32. Spaces is a charade. Stop burying the truth.

  33. The Call Out Queen · ·

    wow yall tring to slence and cnsor hney bo bo! so mch fr merican deals.

  34. The Call Out Queen · ·

    geth! hney bo bo hre, thnk yu mh pg gltzy!

  35. Mimms for President. My friend and mentor – that man will clean SPACES up. Don’t let these feeble minded idiots fool you – their socialistic illusions they create only work to serve their masters. There is no social or financial profit from this program. We will triumph.

  36. From my mentor – “Leaders have to make hard decisions. Sometimes those decisions displace people, force them to pursue other means of living to best utilize their talents in a profitable manner. I can make those judgements. Those decisions that force people down the path of least resistance to profitability – much like light takes the quickest path between two points.”

  37. concerned citizen · ·

    im pretty sure posting a direct link to a person is illegal.

  38. goethe, you’re a douche. stop targetting people and show your face. you’re just a coward

  39. knowyourresources · ·

    I feel like many of the programs provided by SPACES could be sufficiently and adequately sponsored by volunteer organizations and groups on the UCSD campus. We do not need to be spending money on such a program. Examples such as Alternative Tours could be done by our very own trained UCSD College Ambassadors versus the volunteers who may be under qualified to give tours. The library already has course books on reserve we don’t need ASP Booklending, they can just go to the library. High School conferences are held by several other orgs on campus. Much of the programs and services offered by SPACES is already offered and excessive.

  40. Concerned Student · ·

    Of course we don’t need to spend money with academic success programs like SPACES. We can just blow are money on Division 1 sports instead.

  41. …those aren’t mutually exclusive. I’m pretty sure the author was advocating hiring more TA’s through the school.

  42. “Dwindling state funding and the impending opening of a student-run access and retention center prompted students to take matters into their own hands. The Promoting Understanding and Learning through Service and Education (PULSE) Referendum was approved by a majority of the student body in order to secure funding and resources for SPACES, ASP and SIAPS” The money that funds SPACES comes from an entirely different source than the funds for student organizations, so stop framing your inane argument in terms of SPACES “stealing” student org fees, cause they aren’t, go do some more research why don’t you? When times get tough why target programs that benefit student of color communities? SPACES is wasting money? So using student fees to encourage and retain students of color in an institution of higher learning, where we never meant to be in the first place, is wasting money? Why don’t you go investigate how much money was spent on getting a robot butler to serve the east ballroom for founders day? Why don’t you talk about the ASP booklending program that loans out books for free to students on a quarterly basis? Why didn’t you frame the work of the 11 core org interns from the APSA, BSU, KP, MEChA, QPOC, and NASA as a waste of money, or were you too afraid that being so overt about your racist argument would bring you the backlash that you through your veiled attacks would avoid? The only ‘elitist’ bullshitery’ (to use your own term) here is in this very article.

  43. To comment on an earlier post:

    The high school conferences are funded by SPACES, and thus SPACES is not overspending. The student staff positions are designed to outreach and provide resources to under-resourced and under-served communities to encourage them and help them attend a form of higher education. This also includes transfer students and students designated as under-represented by the UNIVERSITY.

    As for the Booklending Program, not all the books are available on Course Reserves by the library, and thus are offered by the Booklending Program. For instance, a biology or engineering textbook can be priced up to about $200, and if a student is not receiving enough financial aid or have certain circumstances or is unable to work enough to afford that book (that would be ~20 hours of work at a $10.00/hr job, not including taxes!), that is why the Booklending program is offered. As a college student, there are some who can afford to shell out ~$400/quarter for textbooks, but as for me, I can only afford maybe ~$100/quarter for school supplies, and that’s with me working a part-time job for 15-20 hours a week.

    The Alternative tours program is designed to show students on the tour resources that would be available for them to use and would provide those students a community that would most make them feel welcome at UCSD and provide them with the opportunities that would best help them succeed at UCSD, such as OASIS, the Campus Community Centers, etc. On the other hand, these resources are not covered in that extent by the tours offered by UCSD, merely briefly mentioned most of the time, and thus one of the reasons why the Alternative Tours program is offered. When I came to UCSD as a first year freshman student, I was not aware of the opportunities that OASIS and other centers offered, like Summer Bridge and the workshops programs, nor the 24 hour study jam, because these were not covered by the UCSD tour nor by Freshman Orientation. The Alternative Tours describes these at length, resources that I wish I had known when I first arrived at campus to help me understand what programs and resources I can use to help me succeed academically right off the bat.

    In addition, if you look at UCSD’s history, there was a student referendum that allows for SPACES to exist, which allows for funding for these programs; this funding is not the same for student organizations.

    Furthermore, this center is not entirely a novel concept. UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and other UC schools have similar outreach, access, and retention centers, with UCI following as well. These centers are designed to not only counteract the low rates of minorities and low-income students on the campuses, but are also designed to help counteract the effects of the recent budget cuts, by offering services that are being cut by the university (shutting down of libraries, cutting down of center hours, etc), such as Financial Aid workshops, the booklending program, workshops, study jams, etc. For instance, many students, including me, attend the Campus Community Centers’ 24 Hour Study Jam during Finals Week, which allows for a space for UCSD students to study, to counteract the effects of the closure of CLICS due to budget cuts.

    Know your resources. If you have not utilized any of the resources or programs that SPACES and other Campus Community Centers currently offers, then it would be wise for those who have questions to do so.

    For more information:



  44. Money spent on division one sports is not wasted. A successful D1 sports program actually brings in money both directly and indirectly. And yes, SPACES is funded with money that could and should go to other student activities. SPACES is inefficient, non profitable, and will fall. It’s a new era – an era without SPACES, without waste, without patronism and cronyism. Hear my words.

  45. goeth for president · ·

    If money is really the issue, goeth, tell me, what can you say about
    1) the week long preparation for Founder’s day at UCSD unwelcoming to undergraduate students, among other pageantries the university engages in
    2) the pristine green lawns the facilities workers work so hard to mow every morning, among other wasteful things our buget goes into to keep up appearances
    3) and D1 when it hurts the middle class students and their families having a harder time to pay for their experience at UCSD, more than students receiving financial aid

    1) i hope you become aware of what power, position and privilege you are coming from when speaking for you, for SPACES, for D1 and for these communities of students I feel like you are hostile towards.
    2) your comments lack substance, go masturbate your ideas on patronism and cronism on reddit or 4chan

  46. damn that picture of the guy you mocked as glitzy is really cute! i am definitely going to visit SPACES now!

  47. I’m definitely checking out SPACES…and the cutie known as glitzy. He’s cute!

  48. this is article is dumb fo’real

  49. and glitzy is cute! Holla at me glitzy! If spaces is staffed by cuties like him, i will for sure go and maybe even volunteer!

  50. I am confused about where the author got the numbers about SPACES’ budget. Two sources are cited: last year’s AS budget


    and this year’s projected SPACES budget


    I don’t see where the author found SPACES’ total budget to be $416,745. Neither do I see how the amount of $275,484 for “overhead administrative costs” was arrived at. I can’t find evidence of the director’s $7,000 pay raise. I also cannot find the detailed breakdown of operating costs that the author presented.

    Can anyone clarify for me exactly where these numbers came from?

  51. sourcemaster · ·

    It’s there. Look in your first link under SPACES. The director made $35,527. Second link: they now make $42,102. The $275k was from adding everything in blue on the second page which is administrative costs, and the allocated budget is at the top on the right.

  52. Concerned Fabulous Queen · ·

    Bartlesss you iz a cutie but itz wrong to pose as Goeth to publicly embarrass Glitzy for sleeping with another hotty

  53. I see it now. According to the budget, $138,117 went to the salaries of student interns and directors. That leaves $137,367 to upper administration, or nearly 33% of the budget.

  54. Boardclub · ·

    Sorry I think made us sound way more offended than we were. We had actually done a staff trip to mexico the week prior to this article and I thought somebody had heard and thought we were spending org money on that. I thought the comic was funny either way and we appreciate the publicity. Happy holidays everyone.

  55. SPACES is swag

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