To relieve financial stress for UC Davis students, Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef spoke about the economy and its effects on higher education at the Memorial Union on Monday.
Chancellor Vanderhoef – along with interim director of financial aid Kathryn Maloney and Dr. Dorje M. Jennette of Counseling and Psychological Services – answered students‘ financial aid questions and dispelled budget rumors.
“Students will not see the Shields Library shut down and courses will not be cut,” Vanderhoef said. “[Students‘] lives should not change drastically.“
Vanderhoef explained that the administration and the regents are doing all that they can to avoid an economic impact on students. There will be a 3 percent cut on library funds and a 9 percent cut in administration funds. Vanderhoef stated that there will be an increase in student fees to account for rising inflation and the cost of health care and insurance.
“To some extent, we will start to distribute costs to users,” Vanderhoef said. “For example, the ARC could charge a fee for playing racquetball, therefore that [cost] only affects racquetball players.“
“I am hoping that Governor [Arnold] Schwarzenegger will recall the legislature and that they will agree to spare higher education from drastic cuts,” Vanderhoef said. “We’ve dealt with economic crises before – it won’t be easy, but we’ll figure it out.“
Maloney offered money management tips for students who were worried about the economic crisis.
“Spend within your means, don’t spend more than what you have,“ Maloney said. “It’s simple in theory, but it’s hard to do.“
“Get roommates to help with the cost of rent, go to the ARC instead of a private gym, create a budget and resist peer pressure,” she said.
The financial aid website will soon be offering a financial information site called “Cash Course” with information about avoiding identity theft and managing your money. Cash Course is already offered at UC Irvine and UC Merced. Financial aid counselors are also available to help in Dutton Hall during normal business hours.
Dr. Jennette from CAPS spoke about the stress that can come from worrying about finances.
“According to a study done in 2007 by the American Association, 75 percent of people in the United States rank work and finances as the greatest stressors in their lives,” he said.
For students who are stressed about finances, Jennette suggested several healthy strategies to confront stressors.
“Identify areas of personal control, don’t get carried away with panic, try and stay focused,” he said. “Confront financial stress by making a plan and putting it down on paper.“
“Avoid unhealthy reactions to stress such as smoking, drinking and gambling,” Jennette said. “Mostly, choose healthy responses … and look for the silver lining.“
For more information on how to manage stress, visit CAPS or go to caps.ucdavis.edu/relax for tips on guided relaxation.
After the presenters finished, students had the opportunity to talk about their concerns and have their questions answered by the chancellor.
Molly Sundstrom, student assistant to the chancellor and senior political science and English major, praised the event and observed that most of the attendees were ASUCD-affiliated students.
“The chancellor is right there, answering students‘ questions,” Sundstrom said. “Like Chancellor Vanderhoef said, we’ve been through an economic crisis before as a community and as a country. We will get through it again.“
MEGAN ELLIS can be reached at email@example.com.