UC Santa Barbara students planning to leave the area during spring break are “encouraged to stay where they are and not return to UCSB until in person classes resume,” according to an FAQ attached to an email sent out to the campus community Thursday afternoon.
If students do choose to stay in Isla Vista or on campus over spring break, university offices will be open during typical hours; Student Health will have limited hours, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the email.
Dining halls will remain closed over spring break but will resume operations during spring quarter. Campus services such as the Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS), the Recreation Center and the University Center will remain open but may have limited hours, according to the FAQ attached to the email. Students who work on campus should check with their supervisors about their work schedules moving forward, the email states.
“Given that there are currently no cases of novel coronavirus within our UCSB community, we want to limit the possibility of bringing it back here due to travel,” Katya Armistead, assistant vice chancellor and dean of student life and Margaret Klawunn, vice chancellor for student affairs, said in the email.
The university is also discouraging all international travel, as there is “risk of not being able to re-enter the U.S. if travel restrictions are in place,” and is urging “extreme caution” for traveling domestically, according to the FAQ.
“Students who travel home, even within California, may be traveling to communities that are already using mitigation strategies to address confirmed cases of novel coronavirus. Returning to campus may bring cases here from other parts of the state.”
International students are encouraged to stay in the United States; while international students typically cannot take more than one class online or risk being in violation of their visas, that one online-class limit is being suspended while UCSB is on remote instruction.
On Tuesday, the university announced that all finals and classes through the month of April would be held remotely; it is unclear at this moment what software professors will use to hold online classes.
No students will be required to attend in-person lectures or seminars during the month of April, according to a later email sent out by Chancellor Henry T. Yang.
“Students who are planning to leave campus will receive the same education as those who stay and will not be disadvantaged for remaining away,” Yang said in the email.
He added that the university is “continuing to work out issues related to work-study, financial aid, housing, and dining so that none of our students are disadvantaged by these changes.”
Yang also said in the email that the deadline to submit winter grades has been extended by one week to March 31 in order to accommodate professors switching final exams from in-person to online.
He added that the decision to move classes online was not made lightly and was “driven by our responsibility to protect the health and well-being of our students and their families, as well as that of our dedicated staff and faculty.”
“Even if a young adult gets a mild form of the disease, it can be transmitted to parents or grandparents or others in the community in whom the disease can be deadly,” Yang said.
While several large gatherings in the area have been cancelled for the next month, Armistead and Klawunn said that, for now, commencement ceremonies will continue as planned.
“We do not know yet how COVID-19 transmission will progress and will keep you updated if anything changes regarding commencement.”