In response to criticism over his handling of the financial crisis, Chancellor Henry T. Yang held the first of three town hall meetings Monday to address students’ questions and concerns.
The forum, hosted in Campbell Hall, allowed students to directly question Yang and other university administrators about the UC’s budget crisis.
Unlike the standard format separating panelists from their audience, students were able to sit directly beside them at the forum. After Yang’s introduction, Paul Monge, a third-year global studies major, explained that before the forum, he and other students had requested an additional table be placed on stage so that students could talk to UCSB’s administrators personally in the hopes they would receive complete and concrete answers.
The forum began when a student spoke out against California’s legislators and challenged UCSB’s leadership to host a sit-in at the governor’s office.
Yang said he has made plans to travel to the capital in order to convey the message of students against the 32 percent tuition increase and cuts to the state legislature and UC leaders. However, he said, he will do so in the manner that he feels will be most effective.
Furthermore, students questioned Chancellor Yang’s decision to hold two of the three town hall meetings during dead week — a time when students are especially busy finishing their class work and preparing for finals, in effect guaranteeing a low student turnout.
Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas responded to this issue, saying the administration wanted to respond to students’ request to speak to them before the Christmas break.
Meanwhile, Acting Dean of Undergraduate Education for the College of Letters & Science Mary Nisbet noted that the college is working to make enrolling in classes an easier task with new developments such as an online waiting list.
The second town hall meeting, to be focused on faculty and staff issues, will be held Friday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall.