News in Briefs: May 9 to May 16

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CAMPUS

Syrian EDM musician Omar Souleyman performed in Storke Plaza on Monday evening as part of his U.S. tour for his latest album, To Syria, with Love, to be released on Jun. 2 as an ode to the war-torn country. While the KCSB-hosted concert featured Souleyman’s electronic hits and a performance from the UCSB Middle East Ensemble, it also raised awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Syria and allowed attendees to participate in relief efforts, the UCSB event page reads. Several campus organizations, such as the Muslim Student Association, the Arab Student Group, and the Lebanese Club, were also in attendance. Souleyman also shared information about his charity, Our Heart Aches for Syria, in collaboration with Doctors without Borders.

Physics professor Joseph Incandela was appointed as the Vice Chancellor for Research last week, the UCSB Current reports. Incandela, who has served as the Interim Vice Chancellor for Research for over a year — was selected for his “exceptional work,” Chancellor Henry Yang announced. He continued to share that Incandela “brings this first-hand experience as well as three decades of scientific scholarship, leadership, and service” to the position. In his role, Incandela will help the university community secure support for research and creative activities, as well as take responsibility for collaborative and interdisciplinary units, among other duties. He has been at UCSB for the past 17 years.  

UCSB’s Teaching and Learning Excellence Series (TALES) returned this week with a discussion on “The Importance of Ignorance in Teaching and Learning,” held by Jason Dique of the Department of Education. TALES, a program in Instructional Development (ID), aims to demystify classroom topics and make them more accessible to students, according to the UCSB Current. The second event in this quarter’s series — featuring history professor Salim Yaqub — will be held at HSSB’s McCune Conference Room on May 22 at 3 p.m.

ISLA VISTA

Measure O — a proposed tax on landlords that would help fund the recreation and parks districtpassed by approximately 80 percent last Tuesday. The measure will establish a $2.5 million investment in the 20 parks in Isla Vista over the next 10 years, KEYT reports. These funds will go toward the updating and maintenance of existing park facilities, the improvement of park lighting, and the creation recycled water infrastructure; in addition, the funding could establish new parks to meet the interests of Isla Vista residents, including a skate park and a fenced dog park.

The 41st annual I.V. Jugglers Festival returned last weekend to People’s Park, where attendees appreciated the art of juggling as they raised money for the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, where all event proceeds were donated. The event featured a juggling performance at I.V. Theater on Saturday, as well as a fire circle, and all visitors were welcome to attend and bring “whatever circus of flow prop” they fancied. Those who missed the event or want to learn more about juggling are welcome to join the UCSB Juggling Club, which meets on Fridays in front of Storke Tower.

COUNTY

The City of Santa Barbara recently overhauled its 15-year-old smoking ordinance as a result of a unanimous vote to ban smoking in most of the city’s public spaces. The smoking ban — which extends to locations such as beaches, public parking lots, sports fields, and public walkways — applies to electronic smoking devices as well. The Independent reports that supporters of the ban cited secondhand smoke and littered cigarette butts as reasons to ban smoking, and those wary of the ban expressed concerns regarding the impact it would have on local tourism. Other nearby cities, including Carpinteria and San Luis Obispo, have similar laws in place.

The Coastal Housing Coalition hosted the fourth annual Santa Barbara Housing Conference on Friday to tackle local housing concerns, from socioeconomic issues to land-use designation, Noozhawk reports. The event encouraged a dialogue and included workshops to help educate the community on the issues facing residents today, such as the affordability gap and the lack of workforce housing. Housing providers, real estate professionals, and financial institution managers were of the many community members in attendance.

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