UC Santa Cruz faces housing crisis

UC Santa Cruz students are facing a deficit in undergraduate student housing, according to a recent report from campus newspaper City on a Hill Press.

Associate Director of Student Housing Services Kevin Tresham told the publication that the estimated undergraduate housing capacity on campus is 9,145 spaces, but the university received housing applications from 10,381 students — around 61% of the student body. 

Housing at the university operates on priority-based enrollment, meaning those not part of priority groups — which include freshmen, sophomores, Educational Opportunity Program affiliates and international students — are placed on a general waitlist for housing. Many students were only notified by the university that there wasn’t a spot for them in campus housing during late summer.

“I feel unclear on how much support I should expect from the school,” third-year UCSC student Josh Ticheli told City on a Hill Press. “The amount of support I feel like I’m getting is lower than what I would have expected.” 

There are two ongoing housing development projects at UCSC that seek to remedy this deficit: Kresge College Renewal and Expansion Project and Student Housing West. 

Kresge College Renewal and Expansion Project is set to complete construction in early 2023, adding three residential halls with 400 beds. Phase 2 of the project, which requires approval from the UC Regents in November, would add 600 more new beds.

Student Housing West, approved by the Regents in 2019, would add 3,000 beds across two residential halls. However, construction has been stalled since June 2022 due to a lawsuit asserting that the development would harm the bird and frog habitat in East Meadow — the location of one of the residential halls.

UCSD receives grant for faculty diversity

UC San Diego received a $16 million grant from the National Institutes of Health Common Fund’s Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (F.I.R.S.T.) Program. UCSD is currently the only UC campus to receive F.I.R.S.T. funding. 

The grant will allow the university to hire 12 diverse, early-career research faculty in biomedical sciences, according to the UCSD newsroom. The faculty will be hired in four research disciplines: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases/immunology and neurosciences. 

The program was established at the university with the goal of implementing evidence-based programs to strengthen faculty retention, success and inclusion.

“The introduction of the cohort model into our hiring and onboarding efforts enables us to foster a supportive community for faculty hired through the FIRST Program,” María Elena Martinez, co-principal investigator of the UCSD F.I.R.S.T. program, told the university. “Our goal is to enhance the faculty member’s career development, which will be the key to their long-term success at UC San Diego.”

Co-principal investigator of the UCSD F.I.R.S.T. program JoAnn Trejo said the program will help with inclusivity at a campus that is “among the most enriched biomedical research environments in the world but lacks faculty diversity and effective programming.”

“The interdisciplinary nature of our four chosen research clusters and the strength of existing cross-campus faculty collaborations between health sciences, biological sciences, engineering, physical sciences and social sciences will ensure that the F.I.R.S.T. Program has an impact on the entire biomedical research enterprise across the university,” Trejo told the university.

UC announces recipients of inaugural Regents Foster Youth Award

The University of California Board of Regents awarded two UC students the inaugural Regents Foster Youth Award at the latest Regents meeting at UC San Diego, according to a UC press release.The recipients are William Carter, a UC Berkeley geography doctoral student and Fullbright scholar, and Mary Tran, a UCLA law student and board member of the Foster Care Legal Network — a nonprofit providing legal services for current and former foster youth.

The annual award was created in May 2021 with the intention of ensuring “ongoing visibility into the unique barriers that current and former foster youth face in their pursuit of academic success,” according to the press release.

“The Regents Foster Youth Award honors the incredible resiliency and accomplishments of students who have faced adversity,” said Chair of the UC Board of Regents Richard Leib in the press release. “It is our privilege as a Board to celebrate these students’ achievements and support the awardees’ continued academic success.”

A version of this article appeared on p. 2 of the Sept. 29, 2022 print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year, the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at news@dailynexus.com.