Illinois’ Budget Impasse Extends to U of I&#...

Illinois’ Budget Impasse Extends to U of I’s Rape Victim Support Program

Illinois still hasn’t worked out a state budget, leading state universities to pare down important student support networks. Running out of funding on December 31st University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has laid off or slashed the hours of much of the staff of its Rape Advocacy, Counseling and Education Services (RACES) center, going from a team of seven full-time employees to just one.

RACES provides support to both students and community members in the Urbana area, hosting a 24 hour support hotline and access to counseling. Even with budget cuts, the hotline remains open, and the center is optimistic about its future, but this remains a financial blow to an organization that’s doing absolutely vital work.

That RACES is not just an important resource for students but for the community as a whole–non-student use of the center has gradually increased the past few years–shows that education policy doesn’t only affect schools, and that for all the (sometimes warranted) discussion of disconnect between academia and the population as a whole, universities can play an integral community role. The biggest takeaway, though, is that the state really needs to figure its budget out, because there’s a lot on the line.


About Stewart Finnegan

In a perfect world, I'd be a professor who teaches poetry using episodes of mediocre sci-fi procedurals, but for now, I'm just a tutor who watches a lot of TV. I got my BA from Kalamazoo College in English with a focus on creative writing, and someday soon I'd like to go back to academia. Most of my formal teaching training was as a creative writing TA, but I've used those skills professionally more to tutor math and write data entry training materials. And though I'd like to focus my work on what I'm really passionate about (which is Netflix binges and outdated video games, mostly), it's the craft of teaching and writing that keeps me coming back. That's why I'm excited to be a part of High Faluter: I'm finding that academia doesn't just stay in academia. And if I can bring crappy midbrow entertainment into academia too, well, all the better. You can find me on Twitter: @StewartFinnegan