In an effort to protect mental health services from state budget cuts, ASUCD is urging administrators to retract cuts made to units other than Counseling and Psychological Services that provide counseling services.
University administrators proposed a 7 percentbudget decrease for all units,with some losing as much as $140,000 for next year’s budget.The cuts will facilitate a university-wide cut of$1.4million.
ASUCD considersunits such as theCross Cultural Center (CCC),Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual,Transgender ResourceCenter (LGBTRC) and Women’s Research and Resources Center (WRRC) crucialto university funding,as many utilize these services for mental health.
“These units do very important work and have a close connection to many students on this campus,” said Paul Harms,ASUCD controller andjuniormanagerial economics major. “They shouldn’t have to cut any of their funding.“
The senateargued in their resolution – which passed with unanimous approval – that since these centers already providecounseling services to students,retracting funding would compromisethe interests of the university to ensure mental health to all students.
“We need to reach out the various communities for people not comfortable going toCAPS,” saidMax Mikalonis,chair of the Student Services and Fees Administrative Advisory Committee andjuniorpolitical science and economicsdoublemajor.
“These are the first places people are comfortable within those communities are going to for mental health issues,and we want to make sure those communities are well funded.“
ASUCD has sent their resolution to thevicechancellor’s office,where administrators willsubmit the budget reduction to theprovost by Friday.The budget will then be finalized this summer.
“We will make every effort to provide a broad range ofsufficient mental health services,” said Associate Vice Chancellor Janet Gong.“It’s a broad service that reaches further than CAPS,but it will be a while before we know the resources we have.“
Since almost all UC Davis units will experience budget cuts,the administration is being careful not to compromise the interests of other units in protecting counseling units.However,in lieu of campus violence acrossthe nation,priorities must be weighed,the resolutionstated.
“The big issue is that the UC has pledged to protect student mental health funding,” Mikalonis said. “I hope the administration on campusrecognizes the importance of these units.“
The budget reduction will take funds from service employees‘ salaries as well as various outreach programs that the CCC,LGBTRC and WRRCprovide to the general public.
“The CCC is an integral part of this university,” said Erica Oropeza,ASUCD senator and administrative assistant at the CCC. “If the administration continues to cut funds for our interns,who would representthe certain communities that come to us for help?”
Though the budget reduction plans are not finalized,ASUCD has been working with the administration to sway the interim plans.
“We understand that [the budget reduction] is not the administration’s fault,” Harms said. “The funds have to come from somewhere.It’s important for us,as students,to voice our priorities so that the administration can make better decisions.“
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.