New budget videos posted: You asked, and Sproul Plaza has the answers

Question 1: LCD  screens, investment in classes and free software.

Conversation is taking off on UC Berkeley’s new social media app on Facebook, launched last week to help foster discussion about campus issues. John Wilton, vice chancellor for administration and finance, kicked things off with a video primer on the Berkeley budget, and the community responded. Now Wilton is back with answers to the five questions that received the most votes from Sproul Plaza users.

Question 2: What about other expenses, and Intercollegiate Athletics?

Like its namesake, Sproul Plaza the app is a place for members of the Berkeley community to gather, have their voices heard and hear what others have to say. It will give campus leaders, subject-area experts, faculty, staff and students the opportunity to present video commentary on current issues, and then seek questions, feedback and discussion. The app gives community members the opportunity to vote for the questions they’d most like to have answered, and presenters then respond with videotaped replies to the top-ranked queries.

The questions for Wilton that received the most votes were:

  • International and out-of-state students?

    Why does UC Berkeley claim to not have enough money for various classes, etc., yet they are willing to spend money on futile amenities such as LCD screens at Crossroads? (The response also covers questions about spending on free software for students and the perceived growth in senior administrative positions.)

  • Why are 11% of the expenses undisclosed in the original video? (Wilton also answers a question about expenditures on Intercollegiate Athletics.)
  • Has UC Berkeley considered accepting more international students? (The response includes the answer to a question about why out-of-state students pay more.)
  • Berkeley’s endowment.

    Why can’t we get the multibillion-dollar endowments from private sources that other private universities have?

  • Has anyone taken a look at the efficiency of the campus infrastructure? For example, west-side sprinklers practically soak the sidewalks with water during the day.

You can view Wilton’s initial video and subsequent answers on this page; but to post comments or suggestions for future topics, you’ll need to use the app’s interactive features, which can be accessed only through UC Berkeley’s Facebook page.

Energy and water use.

To access the Sproul Plaza app, be sure to first “like” the UC Berkeley page, and then click on the Sproul Plaza icon located on the left side of the page. The campus community is listening. Don’t miss the chance to make a difference. 

The transcript of Wilton’s responses to the questions is posted online here.