UCSB released a COVID-19 response update on Thursday to clarify its previous announcement that it will operate under remote instruction through the end of April.
According to its initial letter released to the campus on Tuesday, the university has taken this proactive measure to mitigate concerns over COVID-19, despite the fact that no cases have been reported on campus or in Santa Barbara County.
In the days that followed this decision, concerns regarding financial aid, housing, work-study and dining arose across the campus. While little concrete information was released to this effect, the university has assured it is developing policies to address any changes in enrollment for the spring quarter.
For at least the month of April, as spring quarter begins, instructors will provide alternative modes of instruction, meaning no in-person lectures, so students can attend class remotely.
The university has asked students who are traveling for spring break, set for the week of March 23, to stay away from campus for at least the month of April. Likewise, students who plan to stay on campus for April have been advised to not travel during the break.
Over break and in the weeks that follow, the university will remain open and operational to accommodate students who need to stay on campus. This includes the library, university center, student resource building, and students health services.
That said, the residence and dining halls will close on March 21 for the duration of spring break. If necessary, students will be permitted to stay in a select number of residence halls for $300.
UCSB Arts & Lectures has canceled or postponed all upcoming events through April 26. A&L will keep patrons informed if these events will be rescheduled in the future. If not, or if ticket holders cannot attend the alternative date, refunds will be issued.
The Office for International Students and Scholars has also provided specific guidance for international students, assuring UCSB has their best interests at heart.
“Not only do we support you in all your endeavors but care about you, your well-being, and that of your families at home,” OISS Director Simran Singh said in a memo to the UCSB international community.
“We understand this added stress and concern for your family, as well as negative public sentiments which are not reflective of our community values can weigh on you.”
In the wake of COVID-19, many incidents of bias against UCSB’s Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander community have circulated campus, according to a letter from Dean of Student Life Katya Armistead. As the situation continues to progress, both OISS and UCSB Student Affairs have encouraged the university to remain respectful.
“During this stressful global health situation, it is important to uphold our community principle of respect and understanding and to avoid engaging in any discriminatory or xenophobic behavior,” the response update read.
For more information on the measures UCSB has taken, visit sa.ucsb.edu. To learn more about the coronavirus and steps being taken around the county, go to publichealthsbc.org or call 805-681-4373.