Chancellor Henry T. Yang said instructors would be open to “flexible” final exams beginning Saturday, shortly after UCSB students introduced a new petition asking the university to provide more support to students impacted by the Thomas Fire.
“Based on all available information from officials and experts, we remain confident that the campus will not be threatened by the Thomas fire,” Yang said in an email.
He said several students need to finish the quarter and receive their grades on time due to visa and financial aid requirements, pending employment and other circumstances.
The new petition called on the university to create a “clear plan” for final exams and encourages students, families and community members to contact the university about its response to the fire.
The petition received over 2,000 signatures in two hours.
Associated Students (A.S.) President Hieu Le, Isla Vista Community Services District board member Natalie Jordan and A.S. Communications Director for the Office of the President Deepika Chandrashekar introduced the petition Friday after Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County Thursday evening.
UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang announced that all classes would be cancelled Thursday and Friday after students expressed dissatisfaction with the university’s delayed response to the Ventura County fire.
A petition to cancel class gained over 3,000 signatures in one hour and ultimately reached over 7,000 signatures on Friday.
Other students have also created other petitions asking the university to provide alternative options for final exams.
The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District has classified Santa Barbara and Goleta air quality as “unhealthy.”
The new petition includes eight demands, asking the university to allow students to return home immediately as well as provide academic and emotional support to those who have been affected by the Thomas Fire.
The petition requests that the university offers remote alternatives for final exams and assignments and asks for flexibility from faculty due to the unstable WiFi caused by “rolling blackouts.”
The students request that the university provide a proposed evacuation plan and keep students updated through email and Facebook.
The petition also asks that the university provide “special accommodations for students who do not have a mode of transportation to return home.”
Updated 6:00 p.m.