UC Davis reports the highest level of sexual assaults and violence on campus of any school in the UC system.
Due to recent budget cuts, these high offense rates could be on the rise.
The UC Davis Gender Education program will be cut following the 2008-2009 school year if it is not added to the budget of the Women’s Resources and Research Center.
The GE program operates at an annual budget of $49,698 – $61,698 for the program’s fulltime GE specialist position and $12,000 for operating expenses.
Given that 12,300 students have enrolled in a total of 330 classes in the GE program’s 10-year history, asking the university to pay $61,698 per year for such a service hardly seems unreasonable.
UC Davis‘ sexual assault and violence issues should be taken more seriously. The administration should be displaying additional concern about such problems, and cutting the GE program’s funding sits on the opposite end of the spectrum.
That said, even if the university refuses to offer funding, there’s no excuse for the program to fold at the completion of the academic year.
Asking UC Davis students to pay a small fee to take GE classes is a reasonable solution. Seeing as approximately 1,200 students participate in the program annually, the GE program could finance itself by charging $5 per person per class.
The program supporters‘ current plan – circulating petitions and a letter writing campaign that led to a meeting with Fred Wood, vice chancellor of student affairs, on Thursday – made for a good start.
What the GE program needs next is further backing from Wood and his colleagues. Sexual assaults and violence on campus are no laughing matter and it’s frustrating that the administration hasn’t given this issue the level of attention it deserves.