Save P.E. at UC Davis

Whether you want to train intensely, learn a fun new sport, or get some relaxing movement in, the UCD P.E. department (PHE) offers courses that allow you to do any of these. Even in the middle of a pandemic while being taught through Zoom, these classes are just as effective and beneficial. Last school year I had the wonderful chance to take Kickboxing (having no prior experience), where I felt physically and mentally amazing. This quarter, I took advantage of the program again to continue getting in some physical movement during quarantine and enrolled in the (virtual) Abs/Back class with the same amazing instructor, Andrea Khoo. I also really missed having her kick my butt with her intense workouts. I wish I could be recommending P.E. courses to take later, but as of now the opportunity to take P.E. in the future doesn't exist anymore...

Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

If you're not currently enrolled in P.E. courses then you might've not heard about the university's decision to dissolve the PE program effective Winter quarter, meaning this is the final quarter P.E. will be offered. If this is your first time hearing about it and you feel like you're behind on campus news, trust me, it's not your fault. This was an abrupt decision the university made without consulting us, the students, of this decision being made. Most people found out about this decision through a three-part article series written in the Davis Enterprise. The Davis Faculty Association responded by writing a letter to Chancellor May and Provost Croughan to oppose the elimination of P.E. by stating three main points against it:

  1. The lack of communication the university had with students, despite having thousands of students who participate in these courses each year.
  2. The mind-body system and benefits of physical activity regarding our overall health, especially for students to use it as a form of stress relief. Along with the fact that P.E. courses give students the opportunity to learn from and get trained by professionals for free, whereas off-campus it'd cost hundreds of dollars, singling out students who can't afford those trainers or memberships elsewhere by eliminating the program.
  3. The unity P.E. classes bring among students during this time of division in our nation.

John Arano H4I9G Jade Stephens / Unsplash

Now, there's a petition going around to save the P.E. program.

What if I'm a student who doesn't take P.E. classes, it doesn't affect me right? It does! As stated in the change.org petition, UC Davis students are charged a $340 fee every year as part of a Student Activities and Services Initiative Fee (SASI) which also goes towards paying for Intercollegiate Athletics. So, in return, the university provides P.E. classes for academic credit which are taken by roughly 23% of the student body, versus only the 2.2% of students who participate in Intercollegiate Athletics. However, the removal of P.E. doesn't mean we're being refunded the $340. The university still plans to charge us this fee to fund Intercollegiate Athletics regardless of there no longer being any direct benefit for us. So, whether you take P.E. courses or not, the fee we're paying will still be there. We have the chance to change this.

If you believe in the physical and mental health benefits from these courses or are upset by the university's lack of communication and decision to continue the fee, sign the petition, contact ASUCD representatives, use your voice. Save the P.E. department and bring back P.E. classes.