On September 10th, numerous issues and topics were discussed at the UC Merced UCSA Board Meeting, but one topic that stood out: a campaign called 3D.

The 3D Campaign is very new and is currently assembling on each UC campus. The aim for the campaign is to advocate for and allocate resources to disabled, chronically ill, and neurodivergent students. Justin Deckard, UCSB’s Campus Organizing Director, explains that the broad goal of 3D is “to build a radically accessible UC whose structure recognizes the existence and unique struggle of differently-abled folks, seeking to empower this community & dismantle unjust systemic barriers.”. The campaign has created an extensive list of short term and long-term plans towards this aim. These plans include, but are not limited to: hiring more CAPS staff, de-medicalize and increase access to Academic Accommodations, de-stigmatization through education, de-medicalizing the process of obtaining testing accommodations through the student disability centers, and increasing the availability of CAPS.

When it comes to opposition, Judith Ohan, someone who helped to create the campaign, claims that,

“Potential opponents may be the UC regents and lawmakers. This makes things confusing because they can also be our constituents. I guess some of them might say that the health services provided by each UC should be adequate but then some of them might be for the improvement of the health of the students.”

Ohan personally decided to work on this campaign because:

“[Often times] when people think of disabilities, we often think about physical disabilities and forget about mental disorders. Students with mental disorders often are ashamed of it or in denial because of the stigma that comes with their disorder and this leads to poor performance in their academics, worsened depression, suicidal thoughts and actions in students.”

What this may mean for UC Merced students is that we can be granted more access to psychological services, free parking passes for disabled students, protection for students with pre-existing conditions, and many other resources. The campaign is on the move, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing of their actions on campus very soon.

 

 

Photo Credits: Marcus Fox

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