We at the Nexus would first and foremost like to reiterate our support of the Women, Gender, and Sexual Equity Department, including all of the associated groups mentioned in the above letter.
To the passionate and inspiring members of these groups, your commitment to helping create a safer, more educated and more inclusive UCSB does not go unnoticed (much less unappreciated) by our publication. We recognize that harmful sexual stigmas and confining gender norms often infiltrate our campus community, and we applaud those who fight to eliminate them. Likewise, as fellow I.V. residents, we are very aware of the issues surrounding sexual assault which pervade our college community. The Nexus wholeheartedly thanks you for your leadership in creating an environment of awareness and positive change at our university.
Our decision to not endorse increasing the WGSE lock-in fee (from the current $4.25 to the proposed $8.17) is in no way indicative of our lack of support of the WGSE Department as a whole.
Historically, the Nexus has always taken a fiscally conservative approach to student fee endorsements. The majority of UCSB students are already burdened by the cost of college — from the ever-increasing cost of tuition to the outrageous rent demands of I.V. landlords. The average student’s pockets are not deep enough to respond to every fee increase request, regardless of the program in question’s ethical standing.
Thus, though we regret not being able to show our support for WGSE by endorsing the proposed fee increase of $3.92, we do value the organization’s work. Our view that the current lock-in fee should be maintained is not an evaluation of the center’s worth; it is merely a result of the financially restraining times our generation faces.
With so many organizations on campus and the incredible amount of cuts as of late, supporting everyone is simply impossible. While we would love to see the WGSE Department expand, we cannot justify allotting it more financial support than it is already given when other equally important groups on campus are facing actual budgetary slashes. Our decision to endorse the Health & Wellness fee increase, for example, was in direct response to the crippling cuts that program would face, should the fee initiative not pass. Had WGSE been in a similarly serious situation, we surely would have taken that into consideration.
As a fellow campus organization, we know all too well the struggle these organizations endure to stay afloat and continue to serve students. We are all up against challenging budgets. Although we are hopeful that one day future Gaucho generations will not have to contend with these dire financial realities, at the present moment we must take into account the fact that, for now, funding is scarce … especially when you are looking in students’ pockets.