After a successful first year, History 103S: History of Surfing, will once again be funded by the Associated Students Coastal Fund this year.
According to Lauren Cobbe, chair of the Coastal Fund, the class was awarded $5,060 as part of the program’s spring funding cycle — one of three funding cycles offered by the campus organization for major funding each year. The money provided, she said, allowed the class’ instructors to increase enrollment in the course from 75 students to 250.
The class itinerary, Cobbe said, is to educate surfers and nonsurfers alike on the impact environmental and coastal issues have had on the sport and culture of surfing. Because of this, she said, the Coastal Fund board’s consensus was that the course had an undeniably high curriculum value.
“We enjoy funding things that students are interested in. It’s hard to get students involved in these issues, and this class is a great way for students to make the issues relevant for themselves, beyond UCSB,” Cobbe said.
The Coastal Fund finances an average of 10 to 20 projects per quarter, totaling $300,000 in spending each year on projects designed to protect and enhance the local coastline. The over $5,000 that the class received consists of $2,000 to ensure that four guest speakers will appear during the quarter, and $2,800 for course graders. The remainder will be spent on advertising the class.
In an interdisciplinary collaboration, visiting professors Peter Westwick and Peter Neushul — respectively from the history and environmental studies departments — will teach the class together, splitting the 20 lectures evenly.
According to Westwick, they were granted funding provided that they are not allowed to ask for additional funding in the future. This means that the continued success of the course beyond this year depends on whether or not the History Dept. decides to fund it.
However, Westwick said, the class had all its spots taken within two days after it was opened for registration on GOLD, which bodes well for the course.
Cobbe agrees with Westwick’s optimism for the continuation of 103S, she said.
“If it’s filling up in two days, that says something. We’re hoping that the popular enrollment will encourage the continuation of this class,” Cobbe said.
According to Scott Bull, the Coastal Fund’s grants manager, Westwick and Neushul originally requested $17,000 from the organization, which would provide $7,500 of salary for both professors. However, the request was denied, he said, because the Coastal Fund cannot cover salaries.
“We don’t want to subsidize what the department should be paying for,” Bull said.
After their original request was denied, Neushul said, both he and Westwick put further pressure on their departments, and eventually the history department agreed to fund the professors’ salaries.