SBCC shifts to virtual instruction through mid-February
UCSB may be the only University of California campus with a regular flow of students Jan. 18-28, for it is the only UC campus leaving the decision of remote v. in-person instruction up to its instructors for that period.
UCSB Chancellor Dr. Henry Yang sent a message to campus Saturday informing the community of this decision, one he attributes to “consultation with our Academic Senate and members of the faculty, our deans and administrative colleagues, our students, our staff and campus medical experts.”
Why did Dr. Yang give instructors the choice? “Instruction falls under the purview of Academic Senate and academic affairs,” answered Shelly Leachman, UCSB spokesperson, who quoted the portion of Dr. Yang’s letter included in the above paragraph.
“Instructors were given the option to teach in person based on their pedagogical needs and goals,” Ms. Leachman told the News-Press.
Despite the message of a shared responsibility, some students are pointing fingers at few.
“The ASUCSB Executive Board has met with the chancellor and COVID-19 Task Force several times over the course of the Summer, Fall, and Winter quarters,” Associated Students External VP for Statewide Affairs Esmeralda Quintero-Cubillan said. “However, I wouldn’t say that the administration is taking our recommendations into consideration outside of urging the chancellor to email the UCSB community immediately.
“The decision made by Chancellor Yang and the COVID-19 Task Force exhibits a willingness to displace the burden of making such important decisions onto faculty and is extremely concerning. It is our expectation that our chancellor makes these hard decisions with all of our campus community in mind.”
UCSB has detected 160 positive cases this week from students and staff out of 1,858 tests, a positivity rate of 8.61%.
“It is in our opinion that we must move online for the remainder of the quarter in hopes of stemming the flow of cases and preserving an in-person spring quarter,” VP for Statewide Affairs Quintero-Cubillan said.
In Dr. Yang’s message, he says over half of students have returned to a “quieter” but “bustling” campus. Wednesday, campus was far from bustling, with students dotting the sidewalks and quads.
Santa Barbara City College announced Wednesday that most of its classes and services would be conducted remotely through Feb. 17. Classes that require hands-on instruction may return to its campus.
SBCC is requiring all students and staff to wear a N95 or KN95 mask and comply with daily screening and weekly testing.
The college’s semester will begin Monday, and commencement is rescheduled to May 13.