On the northern side of San Jose State University, the Bell University for Insects and Arachnids (BUIA) is situated around the Tower Bell monument. Founded in 1893, this university has grown to be the largest school for insects and arachnids within the continental U.S. Within the past fifty years, the school’s enrollment has more than tripled, now bringing higher education to over 30,000 student bugs.
BUIA’s founder, Professor of Biology James Yaharian, was actually not an insect or arachnid. He was a human professor working at San Jose State, who would often practice his lectures in the Tower Bell’s patio. One day, he started lecturing to a bug which happened to be perched on the bench next to him, as if it were a student. Soon, more bugs started coming each day to hear the professor’s lectures. By the end of his teaching career when over 500 insects and arachnids were attending his lectures, he decided to officially start the school.
BUIA is best known for its Department of Science. Faculty-led research has resulted in the discovery of cures to 12 different pesticides, and is continuing to discover more. The department hopes to have cures to 30 pesticides by 2025.
The Entomology Department (unlike the study of bugs at a human university, but more similar the bug version of a Humanities Department) also has gained recent acclaim for its work to bring together insects and arachnids as one community. The on-campus organization, Brotherhood of Bug (BoB), is one of the schools largest student-run organizations and has been awarded in the past for its work to recognize equality between insects and arachnids.