There was a veil that had been over us, as we fuzzily glimpse the growing issue of financial spending in our government. The blow of the cuts is muffled, as our interactions with budget cuts are implicated and indirect. We hear of the budget cuts through the radio, the news on television, and through word of mouth. We are aware of the situation. We see budget cuts
through photos released by newspapers and the Internet. We are concerned and mildly appalled by the government’s actions. However, when we begin to actually feel the budget cuts at our doorsteps at UC Irvine, witnessing the slow accumulation of limiting resources and requiring the paying of petty fees, the veil is removed, and all is clear.
Rumors have been swirling of the threats made to cancel Comparative Literature, Asian American, and many European and Asian language classes and majors, as well as many other Humanities classes that seem to be swept under the rug by our research-dominant university. As the entire campus is being dawned upon by the growing epidemic of budget cutting, here brings the question: Why the Humanities? Why is the School of Humanities appearing to be targeted most heavily?
As EEE is being charged almost sixty dollars added to our university fees, the “why” becomes more relevant in our daily conversations. That was one foot through the door. Now, we are hammered with more and more small fees that aren’t petty until they add up together. In a sense, it is more understandable to charge students of fees such as making use of the ARC or providing nifty water filter stations around campus, however, cutting classes and majors seem a bit too far. As a motive of the university itself, it is to provide learning opportunities for eager college students who wish to pursue a specific field of study. Every university provides versatility in subjects that includes Civil Engineering, Earth System Science, or Theater. However, cutting the Humanities may be a grave decision that our government might regret later down the road. If foreign language majors are to be extinguished, how are we to
communicate with the world? The effects may not be seen apparent now, but further action may buffer the accessibility of communication amongst foreign countries. As for the Humanities in general, we cannot let the sciences take over, as there needs to be a balance and appreciation of all studies. The humanities bring forth the essential part of being human which many people overlook, which is the importance of understanding humanity. However, it is still imperative that we continue our search for a cure for cancer and many other inexplicable, deadly diseases that threaten humanity.
The essence of having a diverse campus with diverse subjects and areas of study keeps our school in tune with the left-brain and the right-brain in all of us. Restricting students from obtaining certain bachelor degrees contradicts the university’s message of the promotion of education. Cutting the School of Humanities might as well begin the death of education.