Finals week will be canceled and postponed to the week of Jan. 8 because of the effects of the Thomas Fire, Chancellor Henry T. Yang announced in an email to UC Santa Barbara students Sunday afternoon.
Winter Quarter will begin the week of Jan. 16, a week later than it was originally scheduled.
Yang said the schedule change is due to power outages across campus that have disrupted campus IT.
The UCSB campus and Isla Vista community lost power more than 10 times early Sunday morning after strong winds pushed the Thomas Fire into Santa Barbara County.
“Combined with confusion around Santa Barbara County’s false late-night evacuation notice and concerns regarding air quality issues and transportation, these concerns have only continued to raise the level of anxiety at an already stressful time,” Yang said in the email.
The campus and I.V. first lost power for approximately four hours on Monday, Dec. 4.
Thousands of I.V. residents rushed onto Del Playa Drive Monday night in response to the power outage while blasting music, setting off small fireworks and burning two couches, a mattress, one chair and a dumpster.
Faculty members’ alternative arrangements for final exams will remain in effect, Yang said.
“Some faculty have already made alternative arrangements instead of the previously scheduled exam, and these arrangements remain in effect,” Yang said in the email.
Yang said in the email that the university has been communicating with Santa Barbara County officials and said the UCSB “campus remains safely out of the path of this fire.”
The campus will remain open, including student housing, residence halls and apartments.
Yang’s announcement Sunday comes after students raised frustrations with the university’s response to the Thomas Fire and the poor air quality on campus and in I.V. The air quality in Santa Barbara and Goleta remains “unhealthy,” according to the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District.
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.
He then said Friday that instructors would be open to “flexible” final exams.
The Thomas Fire has burned approximately 230,000 acres, making it the fifth largest fire in California’s history. It burned into Santa Barbara County Saturday afternoon and began to burn into Carpinteria early Sunday morning.
The fire is currently 10 percent contained. UCSB converted its gym into an emergency evacuation center on Tuesday, Dec. 5, to accept up to 200 evacuees.
Updated 7:34 p.m.