UC Davis works on programs to help students with basic needs
A new study by the California Budget & Policy Center has shown that University of California students pay over six times more in tuition now than they did in 1979-1980 when adjusted for inflation. California State University students pay $6,800 more in fees.
Living costs, which add to the cost of a college education, have increased by 40%. These costs are mostly made up of food and housing costs. UC Davis has taken steps in recent years to combat these issues.
“UC Davis is devoting a lot of attention to providing for students’ basic needs, including food security and affordable housing,” said Julia Ann Easley, a news and media relations specialist for UC Davis, via email. “We know that having these needs met is important for students’ physical health, emotional and mental well-being, and their academic success.”
In February of 2018, three task forces made up of students, faculty and staff were established by Chancellor Gary May to make recommendations and report on students’ needs in mental health care, food access and security and affordable housing.
Among the actions taken in response to the task force’s recommendations was the commitment of Student Affairs to ensure that the Aggie Compass receives funding on an annual basis.
The Aggie Compass, located in the Memorial Union, is a place where students can receive information about basic needs resources available to them. It also has a CalFresh representative available to help students find out if they are eligible for the program and help them with the application.
“Our goal is to lift students out of crisis and into a position of more stability,” said Leslie Kemp, the director of Aggie Compass.
During its first year, Aggie Compass mostly focused on the issue of food security. One of the programs that they offer is Fruit & Veggie Up! which provides students with free produce at the Memorial Union two times a week. It also provides students with information about free food on campus through the UC Davis NOW app.
In the coming year, Aggie Compass plans to launch a mobile pantry, as well as satellite pantries around campus. They will also expand to working more on the issue of housing in the fall.
Before the Aggie Compass had a physical location, there was a website that brought together all the food resources on campus. Knowing they could more effective as a place where students could go seek help in person, the Aggie Compass Memorial Union location was born.
“If you have a hungry student and the only thing you can give them is a URL, it doesn’t really help,” Kemp said.
According to Kemp, all University of California campuses are now working on providing food resources to students, whether it is a website or a pantry.
Written by: Andrea Esquetini— firstname.lastname@example.org