News in Brief: Feb. 1 to Feb. 7

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CAMPUS

Chancellor Henry T. Yang, along with 47 university presidents, sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Feb. 2 urging him to rectify or rescind his recent executive order which severely restricts immigration into the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries, suspends admission for refugees throughout the world, and indefinitely bars Syrian refugees. “Throughout its history America has been a land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom in the world,” the letter reads. “This executive order is dimming the lamp of liberty and staining the country’s reputation. We respectfully urge you to rectify the damage done by this order.”

Students who have declared candidacy for the 2017 UCSB Commencement will only be permitted to participate in the ceremony for their major, according to the Office of Student Life. Students may petition to participate in another ceremony; however, most petitions will be rejected, OSL stated in an email. Commencement registration pass times have already begun, with many graduating students disagreeing with this change.

Christina Lim, a fourth year computer engineering major at the University of California, Santa Barbara, passed away Monday night. A GoFundMe campaign created in her memory had raised over $3,700 as of early Tuesday evening. “Each moment spent with her was always filled with joy and she always went the extra mile to make sure that her friends and family were supported,” it read. “She was compassionate, hard-working and a beautiful person who we will miss immensely.”

ISLA VISTA

UCSB alumnus Kenneth Yun passed away on Sunday after falling from a balcony at the Zeta Phi Rho fraternity house, located on the 800 block of Embarcadero del Norte in Isla Vista. After falling from the balcony and landing in an asphalt parking lot at approximately 1:30 a.m., Yun was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery for internal injuries and head trauma, Noozhawk reported. Yun passed away due to the injuries at approximately 8:00 a.m.

COUNTY

The repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act could have detrimental impacts on many citizens of Santa Barbara County, Noozhawk reported. In 2016, county clinics treated approximately 35,000 patients, 23,000 of which were on Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid. According to Dr. Charity Dean, a Santa Barbara County health officer, the county estimates that 11,000 of the county’s patients have insurance coverage because of the Affordable Care Act, which helps individuals get access to health insurance through expanding Medicaid eligibility and offering cost assistance. 

A Community Corrections Partnership subcommittee recently unanimously voted to allocate $4 million to fund a new locked-down treatment facility for mentally ill individuals charged with crimes, the Santa Barbara Independent reported. The facility will be located in Goleta at 4500 Hollister Ave., the site of an old juvenile hall that has been empty for almost 10 years. One wing of the former juvenile hall building will be converted into 15 treatment rooms if the project is successful. This facility would ease the strain on Santa Barbara County’s Psychiatric Health Facility, which currently only has 16 beds, and will provide care for patients who are in dire need of mental health treatments.

NATIONAL

The Justice Department on Monday evening urged a federal appeals court to reinstate Trump’s recent travel ban, stating that the executive order “is a lawful exercise of the President’s authority over the entry of aliens into the United States and the admission of refugees.” While the administration believes that a dismissal of the travel ban is a threat to national security, it also wrote that the court order blocking the travel ban should “at most” be limited to “previously admitted aliens who are temporarily abroad now or who wish to travel and return to the United States in the future.” The administration argued the federal government should be allowed to ban people who have never previously visited the U.S. The ruling will most likely be followed by an appeal to the Supreme Court.