As promised in the paper newsletter......
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This newsletter and the budget crisis......
Women's Studies, and all programs at UMass, have to look hard at every single expenditure. At this time we are prioritizing the continued production of this newsletter, however, in this budget climate, we can't be sure. As you can see, this issue is smaller to save printing and mailing costs. We are exploring many options including discontinuing the newsletter entirely, making it smaller, less frequent, doing it in electronic form only, having subscriptions, etc. We currently send the newsletter out to over 2000 friends, alums, current students and faculty of Womens Studies and we love being in touch with you. We especially enjoy hearing your positive responses to the newsletter! Because of the current state of the budget, and the worsening picture for the future, this would be a good time to show Women's Studies financial as well as moral support. We currently cover many of the costs of the newsletter through donations, and if donations remain strong, we will try to continue it. Check the website or call us for the latest. I hope to talk to you in the fall newsletter again.
Karen Lederer, Womens Studies newsletter editor
I write this message with the hope that you and your families are safe, and with the knowledge that many in the United States and in the world are not. Bombings in Afghanistan, threats of more military interventions by this government, the fear of greater instability in the world, threats to civil liberties at home amid a deepening recession make it difficult to be optimistic at the beginning of this new year. Unfortunately, the fiscal situation in Massachusetts, as most of you undoubtedly know, is bad and predicted to get worse. We are in another crisis at UMass. The legislature cut the Universitys budget by 5%$15 million from this years budget, with the expectation of more cuts in next years funding. As we write this, we are still reeling from the recent dramatic cuts to childcare, security and career planning services. Obviously, all of us on the campus are impacted: we expect more layoffs, program closures, and the administration has raised student fees in the middle of the school year. State revenues are limited, but we also know that funding for public higher education in this state has never been strong. While the legislatures and governors support has been lukewarm at best, we believe that people in Massachusetts want and need quality, affordable higher education and we think legislators need to hear that, and hear it now when they are beginning to put together next years budget. Letters to the board of trustees, President Bulger, and to local papers expressing support for the University might also help to change the landscape.
Despite the bleak political and fiscal situation, we do have some hope.
Like most people, we discussed the events of September 11th in classrooms and other venues, and all of us were heartened and moved by the thoughtfulness and humanity of our students. We go into the spring semester and whatever it may bring with that knowledge, a resolve to continue to resist the widening war abroad, the repression of civil liberties and the resurgence of racism at home.
Arlene Avakian, Director, Women's Studies
We are pleased to welcome Nafisa Hoodbhoy, journalist, who will teach Gender Politics of the Muslim World in Mass Media (WOST 292B) for the spring semester.
Welcome back to Viera Wallace-Lorencova, graduate of our Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies Program! She is teaching one section of Introduction to Women's Studies.
Welcome to an inspiring new group of majors: Keyse Angelo, Ellen Castleberry, Cristal Del-Mar Cruz, Amy Ferrer, Erin Greeley, Libi Kuritsky, Marny Levasseur, Anna Maknovskaya, Jessica Martin, Leighanne Scott, Keri-Ann Tracy, and Jamielle Walker. Welcome to new minors: Maya Garg and Michaella Morzuch.
Good luck to February 2002 grads: Jennifer Frazier, Jennifer Henriquez, and Leslie Rockwell. Congratulations to graduating minors Delanie Durocher and Lenora Wilcox.
News from the Graduate Certificate Program:
The deadline for applications to the Womens Studies Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies is Monday, March 11, 2002. Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Nancy Campbell Patteson, in the Womens Studies office for more information on the graduate program, the graduate student retreat, or the lecture series.
The only bright spot in this grinding budget crisis is the unflagging support of our donors. Thanks now more than ever to:
Lisa L. Calchera
Daniel and Karen Corveleyn
Donna J. Grant
Dr.Mary E. Hawkesworth
Sue S. Lee
Dr. Anne M. Wiley