LETTER: UH came through in time of need
To the editor:
Since last Monday, UH pooled resources and volunteered time, staff, toys, movies, treats and space to welcome children whose schools and day care centers remained closed. More than 250 children participated for one or more days at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center’s "Camp Ike," the Rec Center staff and volunteers worked long, hard days hosting campers on the basketball court, in the pool and on the playing fields. The Red Center also served as lunch and movie central all week.
The Honors College permitted a parent cooperative to run on Monday, and teenage children of faculty and students came to help, along with some faculty, staff and students. In addition, the Women’s Resource Center advocated for the services, and the director brought a huge basket of toys. The Lab School and UH Child Care Center also opened slots for several children for the week.
I know many UH offices and classrooms welcomed, or perhaps merely tolerated, small folk afoot these past two weeks, but the formal, supportive reaction from UH President Renu Khator, the dean of students and other administrators was especially necessary and welcome. A lesser president might have chided the grassroots effort for stepping out of bounds or on toes, but Khator endorsed the work. These organized efforts to care for the real children of the symbolic "UH family" on such short notice offered genuine material aid when it was vitally needed.
A few things could have been better. There should have been greater volunteer coordination and earlier, wider notices of campus child care to the UH community.
UH administrators didn’t need to review the Staff Council’s resolution (endorsed by the Commission on Women) to undertake a feasibility study of the need for child care on the campus – Ike or not.
But, it could have been worse. Petty or territorial administrators could have been hung up on protocol.
Associate professor of English
Chair, UH Child Care Center
Women’s Studies Affiliate