Pardall Center to Reopen After Shutdown Due to COVID-19

Photo Courtesy of A.S. Pardall Center

Han Do

AS Beat Reporter

The Pardall Center, which has long been a community resource for UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) students living in Isla Vista (I.V.), is projected to reopen to the public when the university goes back to in-person instruction around Jan. 31. The center, which has been closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, was open only to Associated Students (AS) entities last quarter and for small-scale student services like providing masks. 

It is affiliated with AS in I.V., which is involved in various other community-oriented efforts. AS spends around $100,000 per year to sustain services at the center. 

The Pardall Center started in fall 2013 as a place for the AS Legal Resource Center and the Isla Vista Tenants Union, offering legal advice and resources for students living in I.V. Over time, the Pardall Center also expanded and started to offer free Wi-Fi and printing, hold fitness classes, provide space for hosting of events, and host study jam sessions with free snacks, among other services. 

Helena Karafilis-Spensley, a third-year communication major who used to participate in these fitness classes, told The Bottom Line (TBL), “I really liked the classes because they allowed me to relax myself from the stress of daily life without leaving the I.V. community.” 

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, such resources were limited and printing services are now employed through a contactless pickup system, through which students can send files that need to be printed to the Pardall Center and arrange their pickup via email. 

According to the Pardall Center Governance Board meeting minutes, discussion is still in the works but it is highly likely that the center will reopen soon to all UCSB students, with priority of the space given to AS entities and founding groups. 

With UCSB’s decision to go back to in-person instruction, the Pardall Center, along with other services and facilities offered by UCSB, is planning to open in the midst of rising COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. 

Students are required to comply with COVID-19 safety measures to use the space. It is also likely that the room capacity will be limited to 12 people at a time for meetings, as suggested by Isla Vista Tenants Union Student Coordinator Lluvia Gomez to TBL. 

In the meantime, the Women’s Center, hosted by the Pardall Center, reopened the wellness vending machine at the Student Resource Building, which provides tampons, sanitary napkins, and Plan B for affordable prices.