Do you know what EOP is? Have you heard about one of the best programs on the UCSB campus? EOP stands for, “Educational Opportunity Program” and has been helping thousands of students maximize involvement and success through mentorship, academic programs, one-on-one counseling/advising, campus student support service referrals and social/cultural programming.

In addition to assisting students through graduation, EOP helps motivate and inform students on how to best utilize available resources to enhance their preparation for the job market and/or graduate/professional school admission. EOP will provide you with the individualized attention and freedom to shape your own future.

To assist you in making a smooth transition, our staff and other campus student service departments have developed a complete set of services to help with your financial, social, cultural and academic needs. EOP Counselors are available to mentor students, as well as offer academic and career advising, referrals and information about support services available on campus and in the community. The goal is to advise and prepare students at each class level for their post-graduation plans of graduate/professional school admission or entry into the work force.

What if I am not in EOP? Not a problem! While EOP concentrates on low-income and first-generation (parents with less than a four-year degree) students, all registered UCSB students can participate and receive a majority of the services we provide as an affiliate. Approximately 7,140 students from various ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds at UCSB utilize our services. That’s almost 40 percent of UCSB’s undergraduate students. How will students benefit? While you may have never walked through the EOP offices, you have probably attended one of the sponsored or co-sponsored events on campus. Our Peers conduct workshops in the residence halls, and our Cultural Interns work with academic departments, faculty and student service departments to create and maintain a supportive and inviting cultural and spiritual learning environment for all students.

I write this article to inform students about the opportunities that lie in wait at EOP and to raise awareness about another EOP-related initiative that is going to be on the ballot this upcoming Spring. If you are down with EOP and its services then you want to make sure to vote yes on the proposed initiatives next quarter. Aside from the proposed $3.10 tuition increase, there’s this thing called “reaffirmation” of the $2.75 fee that is already being deducted from our tuition. EOP has chosen a reasonable amount that will sustain essential programs beyond our personal counseling and advising services. In a two-year period, our total department budget has been reduced by 28 percent. In order to meet these cuts, we have not filled several staff positions and significantly reduced our peer staffing. For less than a schedule adjustment fee, you will help sustain a myriad of campus programs and activities. So remember, vote “yes” on both of the proposed initiatives to help all students, especially the ones that need it most.