Few students remain on campus and in Isla Vista as the Thomas Fire burns in the southwestern foothills of Santa Barbara County, but those who do are being given the opportunity to go home with help from Associated Students.
On Wednesday evening, UCSB student Cecilia Sánchez announced on the Free and For Sale (UCSB) Facebook page that A.S. Executive Director Marisela Marquez was working to connect students to financial aid that would help them get home. The emergency grants could be especially helpful to out-of-state students, some of whom stay on campus through the breaks to avoid travel costs.
Although the deadline was set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning, Marquez told Associated Students staff members to let her know if any other students needed financial assistance to return home. Students can apply by emailing Marquez at firstname.lastname@example.org, with their full name, perm number, destination, and phone number.
As of Thursday morning, the fire had burned 242,500 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Air quality in the city of Santa Barbara is still unhealthy, and in Goleta, unhealthy for sensitive groups, according to the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution District.
Some of the funding comes from the A.S. Senate’s decision to allocate $5,000 to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs’s office for emergency operations relating to the Thomas Fire. A.S. is collaborating with other departments, such as the Office of Financial Aid and Office of Development, to generate funds. Marquez told The Bottom Line that alumni and community members who wish to donate to the fund may do so on the Office of Development’s website. The gift is labeled “FINANCIAL AID – UCSB STUDENT EMERGENCY FUND.”