Campus Beat Reporter
With the outbreak of COVID-19 within the United States, universities have taken drastic measures in order to ensure the decrease of the epidemic within their communities. On March 10, UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) Chancellor Henry T. Yang sent out an email regarding the school’s plan to handle the epidemic: “Our campus will be transitioning to remote instruction for the remainder of winter quarter and the start of the spring quarter through at least the end of April.”
On March 14, Yang sent out a follow-up email announcing the decision to cancel spring quarter completely and transition to remote instruction. Students are urged to stay home through the quarter if possible; if this is not possible, students are urged to travel as little as possible or only travel if absolutely necessary.
With UCSB’s decision to cancel in-person instruction, many on-campus entities and activities will be cancelled, closed, postponed, or altered. Here is a partial list of activities and entities that will be seeing changes or cancellations.
List of Events Being Cancelled:
- According to an email from Alpha Phi Omega President Sally Huang on March 11, recruitment for professional/standard sororities and fraternities is cancelled for spring quarter. “To ensure the safety of our brothers, we will NOT be having an active quarter for the month of April and this will continue if necessary,” said Huang.
- AS Program Board confirmed on its Facebook page that The Warm Up concert has been postponed and will likely be cancelled for the foreseeable future. As of now, it has not announced whether Extravaganza will be affected.
- UCSB Arts and Lectures issued a press release stating that it is “cancelling all 29 remaining events in [its] 2019-2020 Season.”
List of Entities Being Closed/Altered:
- “UC Santa Barbara Library [will be closed] to patrons starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Our Music Library will be closing today, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at 6 p.m [sic],” via an email from Chancellor Yang on March 18.
- Some residence halls are closing as students continue to cancel their housing contracts and are encouraged to find alternate arrangements or go home. “It is possible that we will close one or more of the residence halls or apartment buildings, and relocate students into fewer locations, as well as adjust our operations to improve social distancing (e.g. spreading students out, de-tripling, or scheduling use of common facilities),” via an email from UCSB’s University & Community Housing Services.
- Via an email from Chancellor Yang on March 10, “The Athletics Department will be moving to “fan-less” events.”
- An Instagram post by @ucsbmusicdept states that the Music Department is canceling events for the spring quarter.
- Via a letter to his colleagues, Joseph R. Incandela, UCSB’s vice chancellor for research, expressed new guidelines regarding how research ought to be conducted to try and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. “We must now very substantially reduce our research activity to avoid further community transmission of COVID-19,” said Incandela.
- @ucsb_recreation created an Instagram post stating that the Recreation Center, the Multi-Activity Court (MAC) and Robertson Gymnasium are closed until further notice (more updates to come).
- According to an Instagram post by @aspardallcenter, Associated Students Pardall Center is closed at least this and next week (more updates to come).
- According to an Instagram post by @ucsbcare, Campus Advocacy, Resources, and Education (CARE) will be conducting appointments online or over the phone. “Your CARE advocate will reach out regarding your specific appointment.”
Many students have expressed concerns about commencement. An email sent on March 18 called for commencement speakers. “Although recent events related to the Coronavirus Emergency have created uncertainty around the fate of in-person Commencement, the competition to speak and inspire your fellow Gauchos this year is continuing. If an in-person Commencement does not occur this year, Undergraduate Education will find an alternative means for each speaker to reach their fellow graduates.”
UCSB is also reviewing options regarding financial aid and on-campus fees for entities that may or may not be able to be utilized; an update will come later this week. UCSB student Yasamin Salari created a petition urging Yang and administration to rethink certain tuition costs and ensure “the education we are receiving is reflected in our tuition costs.”
In regards to student staff, Yang said, “We continue to urge managers to exercise maximum flexibility in working with members of our staff, prioritizing the health and well-being of our employees.”
Finally, Yang stated that “our campus remains open and operational” in order to accommodate students who must stay. Despite this, it’s worth noting that not every on-campus entity (including but not limited to the UCSB Library, the Recreation Center, and residence halls) is open, so it’s worth doing your research and ensuring you have all of the resources you need in the event you must stay here.