We, the undersigned UC Davis students, faculty and alumni, thank The Enterprise for its recent coverage of the UC Davis Experimental College, a 47-year-old part of Davis culture and asset to the entire community.
Unfortunately, Friday’s Enterprise article gives the impression that the recently suspended EC courses program is not widely valued. In fact, it is highly valued by those who are aware of it, but as The Enterprise’s November article pointed out, the program is “Davis’ best-kept secret” due to cuts in recent years to the EC’s marketing budget.
Recognition of the EC’s value was clearly expressed by more than 400 signatures on a “Save the EC” Change.org petition and by the large crowd of EC supporters at Thursday’s Associated Students of UC Davis Senate meeting. Speakers during the meeting’s public comment period explained that many EC courses are simply not available elsewhere in the area.
And even in those areas (such as dance, yoga and martial arts) in which the EC has competitors, the EC takes a unique, holistic approach reflecting its motto “Education in its most profound sense is personal growth.” This approach stands in contrast to the physical fitness approach taken, for example, by the UCD Activities and Recreation Center.
The most common comment from new EC students is “I wish I’d known about this sooner!” The EC changes lives, providing a mentorship-rich, highly supportive community in which UCD undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff and members of the broader public can learn from each other as equals — something not available anywhere else.
EC enrollments have certainly declined in recent years and the EC, along with other units of the ASUCD, is certainly experiencing budget problems. But this is because too few people know about the EC, not because those who know about it fail to see its value.
Jennifer McCabe, Sarah Bonnar, Daniel Cortez, Celia Chang, Miki Mori, George Burkett and Nicole Mans