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A Student Affairs Newsletter for Parents

Ceremonious Entrance: Convocation Attended by 4,000 New Students


Freshmen and transfer students began their university experience this fall with a celebration designed to mark their entrance into the UCSB community. On Monday, September 18, 2000, over eighty faculty members and administrators donned academic regalia and marched onto the Faculty Club Green to welcome incoming students during New Student Convocation. Four thousand students, representing UCSB's most academically accomplished entering class to date, attended the event along with several hundred UCSB staff members.

Michael Young, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, called the 90-minute ceremony "a kind of ritual to inform new students that they are beginning something different, to convey the excitement and spark a passion for possibilities." A highlight of the ceremony for students, as well as faculty and staff in attendance, was the rousing and often humorous keynote address by sociologist, author, and gifted motivational speaker, Dr. Bertice Berry. Following the ceremony, 65 faculty and 65 staff members returned with new students to nine residence halls on and off campus for small group discussions designed to provide a more informal welcome for new students at the end of their first full day at UCSB.

Below are excerpts from the addresses delivered during New Student Convocation:

  • "A Convocation, like many other academic traditions, gives our community a chance for renewal and a chance for reflection. We are able to articulate and rededicate ourselves to our shared values of free inquiry, intellectual honesty, personal integrity, and above all respect for human dignity. These values are the foundation upon which a university stands. They inform and enrich our pursuit of scholarship, teaching, and service."

    "We believe that students who embrace and uphold these same values will find their experiences here at this magnificent university to be rich, to be rewarding, and forever imprinted upon their life… As you become full partners in this academic community in the coming weeks remember one thing: Faculty take their students seriously as scholars, as intellectual partners, and as colleagues in this academic enterprise. You must take your own education just as seriously. Do not shy away from the challenge. Do not forget to follow your own dreams and your own ideals."

    "Remember we can only open the doors for you. However, you must enter these portals yourself."

    -Dr. Edward Donnerstein
    Dean of the Division of Social Sciences,
    College of Letters and Science

  • "Through undergraduate research, students acquire mental tools for a lifetime: perseverance, problem solving, critical thinking, critical questioning, and the ability to develop new ideas with confidence. The faculty member and student whom you are about to meet are research partners. As such, they have both enjoyed and benefited from the central relationship that defines the University experience: the faculty-student relationship. Faculty learn from students, just as students learn from faculty, and it is this interchange of ideas, intellect, energy, and creativity that brings the academic enterprise alive."

    -Dr. France A. Córdova
    Vice Chancellor for Research

  • "The University does not exist to confirm what you already know… Experiencing diversity is about your own evolution… "

    -Dr. Bertice Berry
    Keynote Speaker

  • "Your character will be shaped and defined by how you choose to spend your time. And the quality of our community will be shaped by the cumulative impact of each of your daily decisions."

    -Dr. Michael Young
    Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

  • "On behalf of the faculty, staff, and administration of the University of California, Santa Barbara, I welcome you to the University and call upon you to fulfill your responsibilities as scholars, leaders, and citizens in this academic community. In turn, I offer you the University's full support of your academic and personal growth."

    -Chancellor Henry Yang

  • Convocation from a Parent's Perspective

    "You have helped to set the right tone, I believe, for the changes [students] are going to go through and the terrific opportunities for growth that can be part of their life at UCSB. You also helped them understand the pride they should have in their school and the fact that they are joining a school with a growing tradition of accomplishments. There were many words of wisdom offered to the students in the course of the program, and I suspect that many of them were heard and will have the good effect of helping this new class become part of your community."

    -Steve Hake, Parent Who Attended Convocation

    2001 Graduation Odyssey

      Sunday, June 10, 2001
    • College of Creative Studies

    • Saturday, June 16, 2001
    • Science and Mathematics - 9:00 a.m.

    • College of Engineering - 1:00 p.m.

    • Social Sciences I - 4:00 p.m.

    • Sunday, June 17, 2001
    • Social Sciences II - 9:00 a.m.

    • Humanities and Fine Arts - 1:00 p.m.

    • Graduate Division - 4:00 p.m.

    Progress Checks

    Progress checks are an evaluation of academic work completed toward meeting degree requirements. The Office of the Registrar strongly advises that a student apply for a progress check at least two quarters before graduation. NO progress check will be done in the student's final quarter as the degree evaluation is performed at that time.
    Declaration of Candidacy

    Students must declare candidacy for graduation using the RBT Menu no later than the first two weeks of the quarter during which they plan to graduate. Please note: declaring candidacy for graduation is a separate process from making a commencement reservation to participate in commencement 2001 ceremonies. These are two separate actions on RBT.
    Commencement Reservation

    Students with 155 units, either completed or in progress during the winter or spring quarters, will be eligible to make a commencement reservation through the RBT Menu. Please note: declaring candidacy for graduation is a separate process from making a commencement reservation to participate in commencement 2001 ceremonies. These are two separate actions on RBT.

    Make your hotel and restaurant reservations NOW! Visit for a complete listing of area accommodations and restaurant suggestions. Visit the Commencement web site at www.instadv.ucsb.ed/pubevents/commencement. For information call (805) 893-7382 or send email to:

    Searching for housing in Santa Barbara's tight housing market just became a little bit easier. UCSB students, along with faculty and staff, can now search for and submit rental housing listings online. The Housing & Residential Service department has been working diligently for several years to bring UCSB this invaluable service. After being on the web for just over a month, the listings have grown to nearly 300, about a 30% increase compared with listings in previous years during the same period.

    On the new website, UCSB students can search for vacant units, rooms in private homes, and rooms in exchange for services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world. They can also submit "Roommates Needed" listings and "Roommates Available" listings. To begin searching, students can go directly to the listings website at and sign on using their Student PERM and PIN #. Generally speaking, a broad search will generate the most "hits," and students can narrow their searches by reading the descriptions. If students have specific needs or preferences, however, or if their search generates too many listings, they can run an Advanced Search, choosing parameters such as "pets allowed," "no smoking," or "furnished." For additional tips on finding housing, students can still visit the Community Housing Office, located on the third floor of the UCen, Room 3151, or check out the online Hints & Help section, which will be available soon.

    In addition to the online listings service, the Community Housing Office offers a variety of other support services to students living off-campus. These services include Landlord/Tenant Dispute Resolution, Roommate Dispute Resolution, Move-In and Move-Out Videotaping, Housing Workshops, and general help and advice on living off-campus. Visit our general website at

    Dates, Deadlines and Details

    December 15, 2000

    Fees for winter quarter 2001 must be paid or deferred with the Billing-Accounts Receivable Office (BARC) by 4 p.m. If your son or daughter is a financial aid recipient, the aid will be automatically credited to his/her BARC account, which requires an enrollment minimum of six units. The status of your student's BARC account can be reviewed on the GOLD system.

    January 1, 2001 - March 2, 2001

    The 2001-2002 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed and mailed to the federal processor during this time period in order to be given priority consideration for financial aid for the 2001-2002 academic year. To be considered for financial aid, your son or daughter must re-apply each year. Be sure to list UC Santa Barbara, school code #001320, in Step 6 of the FAFSA. The FAFSA is available at high schools, colleges and universities across the U.S. It can also be filed electronically on the Internet at

    Note: If your student filed a FAFSA for the 2000-2001 academic year, the federal processor will automatically send a "renewal" FAFSA in the mail in late January or early February. If your son or daughter does not receive the "renewal" FAFSA in the mail and it is getting close to the March 2 deadline, file a regular FAFSA or file a FAFSA on the Internet.

    March 2, 2001

    Priority-filing deadline for UCSB financial aid and Cal Grants. Students who file after this deadline will only be considered for federal Pell Grants and student loans. Students who file the FAFSA should obtain a "certificate of mailing" from the U.S. Post Office as proof that it was filed by the priority-filing deadline.

    March 15, 2001

    Fees for spring quarter 2001 must be paid or deferred with the BARC Office by 4 p.m. If your son or daughter is a financial aid recipient, the aid will be automatically credited to his/her BARC account as long as your student is enrolled in a minimum of six units. The status of your student's BARC account can be reviewed on the GOLD system.

    April 15, 2001

    Deadline to file the 2000 federal tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. Please note you can file your 2001-2002 FAFSA using estimated income tax information. In order to meet the March 2, 2001, priority-filing FAFSA deadline, do not wait to file the FAFSA until your taxes are prepared. Educational tax credit information can be accessed at the following web site:

    For more information on financial aid, please visit the UCSB financial aid web site at or call the Financial Aid office at 805-893-2432. The office, located in 2103 SAASB, is open from 9 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    Students & Alcohol: A Campus-wide Strategic Plan

    Alcohol use and abuse by college students has been around since the first colleges and universities were founded. Some say drinking/getting drunk is a "rite of passage"; others would like to see alcohol banned altogether. Regardless of how one feels about drinking by college students, the problems associated with it are probably not going to go away in the near future and definitely not before your son or daughter graduates.

    The good news is, according to a UCSB February 1999 survey, over 3,000 of our students seldom, if ever, drink alcohol and over half drink in moderation. Still, this means that just under half sometimes drink to excess and sometimes have problems (or cause problems for others) as a result. Problems range from the not too serious, like getting sick or having hangovers, to those that are life threatening, like driving under the influence or needing emergency treatment for alcohol poisoning.

    UCSB has always tried to prevent and/or intervene in all types of student drinking-related problems. That is why, in 1980, UCSB established an Alcohol and Other Drug Program. Housed in Student Health, this was the first such program in the University of California system, and one of the first in the country. Guided by a task force of students, staff, faculty and community members, alcohol abuse prevention efforts have expanded and changed over the years to include new strategies that show promise.

    We have come to realize that educational programs alone cannot solve the alcohol problems. In 1999, we adopted a prevention model that was developed by the federally funded Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention. It includes involving everyone in a comprehensive program utilizing education, early intervention, environmental change, enforcement and evaluation.

    Each year the Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force meets to review existing activities in the above areas, then formulates a Strategic Plan for the next year. We are very excited about this campus-wide effort and want to share some of the highlights of the 2000-01 Strategic Plan with you.

    Special classes have been developed to get information out to certain groups of "high-risk" students. Sponsored jointly by the Sociology Department and Student Health, separate sections of Sociology 91F, Community Health, are being offered for student athletes, members of fraternities and sororities, and resident assistants who work with first-year students. Course requirements involve class members doing a prevention project that will impact their entire community.

    For a number of years, faculty members in the Communication and Dramatic Art Departments have required class projects that focus on reducing alcohol and other drug abuse. This year four additional faculty members in Sociology, History, English, and Women's Studies will incorporate prevention information into their classes.

    Student Health is working with Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Emergency Room staff to distribute brochures and follow-up information to students who are admitted for alcohol or other drug-related emergencies.

    Outreach Specialists have been hired to work on-site with "high-risk" groups- first-year students, athletes, and members of fraternities/sororities.

    A very successful first annual New Student Convocation was held in September to set expectations for the academic climate. Work is also progressing with the College of Letters and Science toward such academic changes as increasing class offerings on Mondays and Fridays, extending library hours, etc.

    Twelve Community Development Peers, who live in Isla Vista, have been hired through the Office of Student Life to enhance the quality of life in that community through community-building efforts. The Peers are making connections with students to inform them of opportunities to get involved with community issues and to provide input to the University on pertinent issues. Additionally, the Peers act as liaisons to community agencies and other residents in Isla Vista as a way to bring the different elements of the community together.

    The Office of Student Life's Alternative Programming efforts focus on changing the campus culture through creating and supporting non-alcohol venues and activities. This program is currently working with the Associated Students Program Board to sponsor regular alcohol-free options and provide new entertainment and recreational opportunities as an alternative to partying in Isla Vista. During the winter quarter, the University will be working with an on-site consulting service that specializes in "reinventing" college life. This group will assist UCSB students, staff, and administrators in the development of new approaches to student life challenges such as excessive alcohol consumption and the limited number of social options for students.

    Members from the Isla Vista Ad Hoc Task Force on Safety and Civility are collaborating with Santa Barbara County officials to revise old ordinances and propose new ones to reduce the number of large parties in Isla Vista. In addition, a committee of Isla Vista landlords has been formed to discuss behavioral standards for tenants.

    The University has extended its jurisdiction over certain conduct violiations to three off-campus privately-owned residence halls and is exploring the possibility of extending jurisdiction to the entire community of Isla Vista for certain crimes.

    UCSB has also hired a Conduct Educator/Hate Crimes Response Coordinator to develop programs to reduce hate-based incidents and other kinds of incivility. Alcohol abuse often plays a significant role in these behaviors.

    Evaluating all prevention efforts is a high priority for the Division of Student Affairs this year. Efforts are under way to select an evaluator to better ascertain which programs are making a difference in reducing students' use of alcohol and alcohol-related problems.

    For more information on any of these strategies, feel free to contact Judy Hearsum, Director, Alcohol and Other Drug Program, (805) 893-2263;


    Over the years UCSB has emerged as a premier university, considered an internationally renowned research and teaching center with a reputation for academic excellence. UCSB's unique oceanside setting, mountainous backdrop, superb year-round weather, serene residential character, and locale are often compared to "paradise." Far removed from the hectic pace of an urban environment, it is relatively easy for members of the college community to disassociate themselves from the problems of alcohol, drugs, crime and violence. The result is a tendency for students to forget or compromise their safety.

    The University of California, Santa Barbara takes seriously its responsibility to maximize student safety and provide accurate and timely information to the public regarding crime on campus and in the surrounding areas. In accordance with the "Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act," UCSB makes available its annual safety report in the form of the "Dedicated to the Safety of Our Community" brochure. The law requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding to disclose the reported instances of criminal activity on their campuses. The law specifically requires the reporting of violent crime, burglary, and motor vehicle theft, as well as a summary of arrests and disciplinary referrals for liquor law violations, drug abuse violations, and weapons possessions.

    UCSB's safety brochure discloses reported criminal activity for the previous three years that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings owned or controlled by UCSB, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. It also includes institutional policies related to campus safety such as those concerning substance abuse, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, sexual harassment and other matters.

    The safety brochure was mailed to the local address of every registered undergraduate and graduate student at the beginning of fall quarter. In addition, it was distributed to each faculty and staff member in October.

    Assuring your son or daughter's college years will be a safe and productive experience is of vital importance to the University. In order to keep you informed, the annual safety report is made available online and can be accessed via the Internet at A paper copy is available upon request from the Office of Student Life at (805) 893-4569. This year the federal government required each institution of higher education to report their annual crime statistics electronically to the Department of Education. The public can access this nationwide collection of data for any college or university at


    • Two UCSB scientists were among those awarded the six worldwide Nobel Prizes in chemistry and physics. Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Herbert Kroemer, shares the Nobel Prize in physics "for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high speed and opto-electronics." Alan Heeger, professor of Physics and Materials, shares the Nobel Prize in chemistry "for the discovery and development of conductive polymers." Heeger and Kroemer are the newest additions to UCSB's Nobel laureates, which include J. Robert Schrieffer (Physics, 1972) and Walter Kohn (Chemistry, 1998).
    • UCSB's Graduate School of Education recently received a generous $10 million gift from Santa Barbarans Don and Marilyn Gevirtz. The gift, the largest ever to this professional school, will support new research designed to improve academic achievement in public schools and influence educational policy and practice. To honor the benefactors, the school will be named the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education.
    • The Office of the Registrar now offers students the opportunity to register for classes via the Web. This fall quarter over half of the UCSB student population took advantage of this new online method to add and drop classes instead of using the telephone voice response system. Services for students continue to improve as technology moves forward.
    • The UCSB Voter Registration Drive, sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and Associated Students, resulted in registering 7,700 students during the fall drive held September 18 - October 10. Voters are required to re-register every time they move, which for a college student can be each academic school year. University and colleges are mandated by the 1998 reauthorization of the Federal Higher Education Act to make a "good faith effort" to register all enrolled students. This federal legislation supports UCSB's long-standing goals of engendering leadership and citizenship in its student body.
    • Philanthropic gifts and pledges to UCSB reached an all-time high of $30.5 million during the 1999-2000 fiscal year that ended June 30. This reflects significant gains in funding for research, teaching, student support and various campus programs and represents more than a 50-percent increase over the previous year's philanthropic efforts.

    To Your Health: UC Requires Insurance

    Beginning fall quarter 2001, there will be an important new mandatory enrollment requirement for undergraduate students. The Regents of the University of California have mandated that all undergraduate students must provide proof of health insurance in order to enroll at a UC campus (this is already required of graduate students). This action is an important positive step in assuring that all students have access to appropriate health care.

    What does this mean for your son or daughter? It means that a University-sponsored health insurance policy and coverage will be provided and the premium will be billed to your student's BARC account automatically each quarter. (The cost of the premium will be included in financial aid packages.) If your son or daughter wishes to participate in the university-sponsored plan, he/she does not need to take any further action to be automatically enrolled.

    If your son or daughter already has adequate health insurance, he/she will have the option of waiving the plan (and the fee) by presenting proof of insurance. To do this, it will be important to pay attention to a mailing undergraduate students will receive next July. The mailing will contain information about the plan as well as a waiver form and instructions. It will be necessary to provide a copy of an insurance card along with the waiver form. The deadline for waivers for the 2001-2002 academic year will be August 15, 2001. Waiver forms received after the deadline will not be accepted. A waiver form will be good for the entire academic year.

    Campus Connection On-line

    An archive of past issues is included on this site for easy reference to a wide variety of issues, programs, and resources. The newsletter, which provides a vital link between home and the campus, will continue to be mailed to parents of all undergraduate students fall and spring quarters. Stay connected to campus and your student-bookmark it for easy access!

    Campus Connection is published by the University of California, Santa Barbara, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, to provide news and resources to the parents and families of UCSB undergraduates.

    The University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Division of Student Affairs recognize the diversity of our society and the many important people who have become "parents" to our students; these include step-moms, step-dads, uncles, aunts, grandparents, siblings, friends and others who play a significant and supportive role in the lives and successes of UCSB undergraduates.

    Editor: Barbra Ortiz
    Copy Editor: Debbie Fleming
    Contributors: Carolyn Buford, Carol Hiles, Micael Kemp, Kristyn Kifune, Julie Levangie, Elizabeth Ozar, Burt Romotsky, Bill Shelor, Michael Takahara
    Design: Brenda Bernu Reheem
    Office of the Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs
    University of California
    Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2036
    If you need this document in an alternative format,
    please call 805-893-7884.
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