UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

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By edhat staff

UC Santa Barbara will continue with remote learning for the winter quarter and will offer some on-campus housing while ramping up testing.

Chancellor Henry T. Yang sent a memo to students on Wednesday providing updates on instruction and housing for the upcoming winter quarter. 

Yang stated as Santa Barbara County, and most California counties, were placed back into the most-restrictive purple tier to curb the transmission of COVID-19, UC Santa Barbara will join other UC campuses in continuing to offer most undergraduate and graduate courses via remote instruction for the winter quarter.

UCSB is also planning to offer limited winter quarter housing in an undergraduate apartment with priority to students who had campus contracts for the fall quarter.

"We recognize that many students have challenges with remote instruction at home and would prefer to be on campus, even if they continue with remote instruction. Our plan to offer more campus housing is a cautious but important step forward to address the needs of our students and to begin to resume campus life," wrote Yang. "By opening some campus housing for fall and winter quarters, we are incrementally ramping up occupancy, which we plan to increase for the spring and summer quarters if the local public health situation allows."

For winter quarter, occupancy will be limited to one student per room, based on UC and public health guidelines and best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. All undergraduate students living on campus will be required to undergo testing and sequester for a minimum of seven days upon arrival, and comply with our campus testing protocol, which currently mandates weekly testing. All UC Santa Barbara students are also required to complete both an online COVID-19 educational module and a community compact through which students must agree to practice precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Yang also addressed the increasing cases within the Isla Vista community stating the university has "overwhelming concern" given the number of COVID-19 cases and continuing reports that some residents are disregarding public health orders regarding social gatherings and face coverings.

"Since the beginning of fall quarter, through our campus testing program and from self-reporting, we have identified 25 cases of COVID-19 on campus and 186 cases in our neighboring community of Isla Vista, where an estimated 8,700 of our students live, as well as several thousand students from other local, California, and out-of-state colleges," wrote Yang. "The cases in Isla Vista represent a significant increase from what we saw prior to the start of the fall quarter, and are happening amidst surges elsewhere across the state, country, and around the world."

The campus is conducting 6,000 COVID-19 tests per week and has decreased the wait time for results with plans to expand testing capacity. UCSB has established partnerships with Fulgent Genetics and UCLA’s Computational Medicine Department to run additional diagnostic tests as well as continuing to use the expertise of UCSB faculty who developed a CRISPR-based COVID-19 test for surveillance testing for students, faculty, and staff.

Yang implored everyone, especially students, to do their part in slowing the spread of the contagious virus.

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ChemicalSuperFreak Nov 20, 2020 02:12 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

"UCSB is also planning to offer limited winter quarter housing in an undergraduate apartment with priority to students who had campus contracts for the fall quarter." Like gasoline on a fire. Yang's priority is generating income to the university in the form of rent, at the expense of everyone else in our community. All this while the holidays have effectively been cancelled by the Governor. No Thanksgiving for you, but we can start filling up the dorms as the case numbers surge. It makes about as much sense as Newsom's dinner at the French Laundry.

ChemicalSuperFreak Nov 20, 2020 11:20 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

"Electricity... is a rounding error on UCSB’s budget." Right, because things like our superconducting 900 MHz NMRs with their 20+ tesla field strengths run on a pair of Duracell AAs.

dukemunson Nov 20, 2020 09:59 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

You think that a big expenditure of UCSB is their boilers? Seriously ? ??!! What reality are you living In? I am on campus every day... boilers aren’t an expense that actually has any actual value or place setting In UCSB’s budget... COVID or not. Electricity... is a rounding error on UCSB’s budget. Are you serious with this post???? I thought you were intelligent but perhaps just kind of clueless and misguided... but boilers? As a major factor of UCSB’s budget and indicative of their minimal overhead now that their not being used?????

GeneralTree Nov 20, 2020 09:20 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

"So... 4.3 and right on the cusp of orange (and in the orange via all other metrics)...We aren’t “solidly” in the red any more... we are definitely on the precipice of orange!!!!!" Yep Duke called that one wrong I remember.

GeneralTree Nov 20, 2020 09:19 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

Any idea how many they will be housing? I know if I were that age again I'd be partying and looking for girls. Isla Vista really worries me. Having lived there as a young guy for awhile - I probably would have ignored the situation and gone partying. Did I mention looking for girls?

ChemicalSuperFreak Nov 20, 2020 09:19 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

@ 6:50 PM: You want to talk about interconnected with countries? I know some first year grad students that are still in other countries because many cannot get visas to study at UCSB until maybe next summer. So what rooms do they need? As far as the those who are "coming on scholarships from situations that are less than ideal from a distancing perspective", they have already made housing exceptions for them, which was explained in Chancellor Yang's statement from August 28. So for the 99.999% of students who are still going to take online courses from now until at least spring, what is the need for housing??? And spring is probably not going to happen in-person anyway, regardless of how COVID is doing. Why? I've spoken with many faculty and a few department chairs, and instructors who opt for in-person would be obligated to continue offering the online version for students who opt not to come back in spring. No instructor is going to run two versions of the same course simultaneously, because that's too much work.

ChemicalSuperFreak Nov 20, 2020 09:03 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

@ 6:54 PM: Yes, minimal overhead. How much time have you spent on campus since the shutdown??? Most bathrooms are closed and not serviced. Custodial staff and facilities are now skeleton crews. The boilers in many buildings were shut down so long that legionella started growing in some of the water. Lecture halls, classrooms, conference rooms and many offices are dark and not using electricity. Seriously.

a-1605927016 Nov 20, 2020 06:50 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

You Also don’t seem to understand or recognize the high number of students in the dorms who are coming on scholarships from situations that are less than ideal from a distancing perspective. Providing dorms where everyone gets their own room is a logical and practical usage of facilities. And while you may not appreciate that we are at least somewhat interconnected with the counties... we are!

So yes.. things spiked after that post of mine that was made while we were on the cusp/precise of orange. Such is life... we were there and the we “spiked” up 3 positives per 100k... but opening up the dorms is fine, logical and prudent despite what you might think/say.

ChemicalSuperFreak Nov 20, 2020 06:40 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

Again, you never understood that those numbers were always 14 days old, and denied the 7.0 + (purple tier) numbers that I (along with LetMeGo) were posting at the time. You see what you want to see, and you're doing the same thing here. I'd prefer to have the kids kept out of the community, which helps not only in the short-term but as long as they are held away until this thing is under control---either through behavior or a vaccine. Why do you care what they do back home in SF or LA? That's not our problem.; let those counties deal with it. We have enough to deal with here, and taking on the burden of more poorly behaved people can only end in disaster for Santa Barbara County.

dukemunson Nov 20, 2020 06:10 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

10 days ago we were at 4.3 which... pretty much by definition, was on the cusp of orange! If the range is 4.0 to 7.0, 4.3 is pretty close to orange my good man, no? Obviously things changed... but how does that change that the numerical value of 4.3 is quite a bit closer to 3.9 than it is to 7.1 ?

And what opinion did I even opine here? Obviously getting rid of 18-22 year olds from SB helps us in the short immediate term... but they are still going to be 18-22 doing their thing. And the kids kicked from dorms at UCLA and cal that come back to sb are still gonna be 18-22 and back in sb...

So right back at you CSF... you aren’t making any sense... and your assault on the meaning of the word “solidly” is humorous but ridiculous. We weren’t solidly in the red... we Were on the cusp of orange...

ChemicalSuperFreak Nov 20, 2020 05:09 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

Sorry, but I don't trust your opinion anymore. Just 10 days ago you wrote: "So... 4.3 and right on the cusp of orange (and in the orange via all other metrics)...We aren’t “solidly” in the red any more... we are definitely on the precipice of orange!!!!!"

dukemunson Nov 20, 2020 06:54 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

What do mean minimal overhead???? UCSB’s overhead is massive and hasn’t changed much this year...In fact it’s probably even gone up!!!! Sure a lot of it is ridiculous waste and overspending... but “minimal overhead”... I focused on the annoying parts of the post but that’s probably the most ridiculous!

dukemunson Nov 20, 2020 05:02 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

, from a local perceptive getting rid of any and all young students helps us... but those same young people are going to be doing the same thing at home in LA, SF, Ventura, etc... and then it gets here anyway. Fauci actually said get kids to college and away from family living As that would be preferable and safer.

ChemicalSuperFreak Nov 20, 2020 04:49 PM
UCSB Offers Updates on Winter Instruction and Testing

At what expense? Minimal overhead now, but they're still charging fees and tuition for kids to sit home and watch videos using their own electricity and internet. By the way, both fees and tuition increased for the 2020-21 year, as well as heath insurance despite no student health center to go to. It's pure profit. As far as salaries, they've early-retired some staff and furloughed a lot of the remainder. UC system has recently proposed cutting more salaries with additional furloughs. Trust me, the UC system isn't hurting as much as many of the people in our community are. Adding 5,000 undergrads to our community, despite continued online instruction, will only increase the potential for additional positive cases and continued shutdown.

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