UCSB Group Demanding $900 Student Checks from University
By edhat staff
A UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) student group is demanding $900 checks from the university's federal funding.
The UCSB chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) is promoting a "COVID Justice Campaign" and is demanding the university disperse its remaining federal funds to students as direct relief checks valuing $900 each.
"Chancellor Yang’s UCSB administration is sitting on approximately $22 Million in federal relief funding that he refuses to share his plans to spend. The UCSB student body and our allies believe that the money should go directly to students who have paid exorbitant prices for subpar Zoom classes," said YDSA Secretary Patrick Fairbanks in a press release.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act distributed $25,204,196 to UCSB at the end of March 2020 and the same amount in December 2020 due to the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. In total, the university received $50,408,392 in aid.
"By law half of these funds were mandated to be paid directly to students – UCSB did this, providing stimulus to a measly 56% of the student body. They spent $2 million on sanitation of a mostly empty campus last year, leaving $22 million remaining. We have asked repeatedly for documentation of how those funds will be spent, but the university refuses to respond to us," said Fairbanks.
Fairbanks argued that students have not had their tuition lowered or on-campus fees waived for services there weren't allowed to access.
The group plans to hold a rally on Saturday, May 8th at 2:00 p.m. They'll gather at Storke Plaza on UCSB's campus and around 2:30 will march through campus towards Chancellor Yang's on-campus home located next to the dormitories. From there they plan to protest with speeches from the group's leadership and fellow organizations.