UC Davis chancellor-designate Gary May has given Aggies an exciting opportunity: a chance for design students to decide exactly how to waste their tuition dollars on the redesign of the chancellor’s mansion.
In a video released in May, Chancellor May announced that UC Davis design students would have the chance to submit designs for a contest, the winner of which would be awarded $500 dollars worth of gift cards. May added that the winner would also receive a “crisp” five dollar bill and a 20% off coupon at Denny’s.
“Sure, a design job like this would usually pay tens of thousands of dollars or more at a professional firm,” May said in the video, “but these kids love shopping on Amazon, right?”
The chancellor-designate emphasized that the prize for the winner was actually only secondary to the real reward. The university would be paying the winner a fortune in exposure.
“Every morning when I wake up and see my beautiful house, I’ll be exposed to it,” May said. “It really is a great opportunity for Aggie designers.”
May also mentioned that this was “a project by Aggies for Aggies.”
“We wanted Aggies to have a say in how we spend their money on this renovation because the chancellor’s residence is a resource for all Aggies,” May said. After a pause, he continued, “I mean, obviously you can’t come here, I live here. But it’s a resource in spirit.”
Some students have questioned why the university was spending money on the chancellor’s residence renovation when actual student resources like Hoagland and Wellman Halls still appear to be Cold War era DMV buildings, and the Death Star apparently does not have the budget for “You Are Here” signs and maps.
The timing is especially unfortunate, as student tuition is increasing for the first time in seven years to offset the cost of faculty, courses, and finishing construction on the Memorial Union, which is already a year past schedule.
When asked to respond to these concerns, May put the issue to rest.
“Did I tell them that the residence is a resource for all Aggies? Seriously, though, don’t show up at my house. I will literally call the police.”
However, while Gary May might have spearheaded this wonderful opportunity, he is not entirely responsible for the redesign. As with most things at UC Davis, part of the blame rests on the shoulders of the notorious former chancellor Linda Katehi.
Katehi helped inspire the redesign by stealing all of the furniture from the chancellor’s residence when she left last year. Although she may be gone, it is clear that she continues to inspire Aggie creativity today.
The winner of the contest will be announced on July 28, so keep your eyes peeled for which lucky Aggie gets to decide how Gary May gets to spend your money.