Parent Newsletter
Fall 2004Volume 6Issue 1
Download This Newsletter


Social Programming-An Alternative To The IV Party Scene

The IV Party Scene

"There's nothing to do but party!" is a refrain often heard among UCSB students. Indeed, when one looks at the activities available in Isla Vista, parties top the list. But many UCSB students don't want to party; and many students who think parties are okay would think twice if other, more appealing events were available. Thanks to the passage of a mandatory fee referendum which makes available social programming funds to student groups, the number and variety of social options for UCSB students are on the rise.

In spring 2003 students voted to "tax" themselves through a quarterly student fee that provides funds to UCSB's Office of Student Life for alternative social programming. The Office of Student Life makes these funds available via a mini-grant proposal process to student groups to present alcohol-free or non-alcohol-centered social, recreational, and entertainment events scheduled on Thursday through Saturday evenings. The mini-grant award program is overseen by the Alternative Social Programming Committee, a student advisory group representing a variety of student interests.

The response from student groups has been overwhelming since the program was implemented in fall 2003. During the 2003-2004 academic year, sixty diverse student groups received more than $45,000 in funding to present a wide range of highly appealing programs. Groups presenting programs included Nu Kappa Alpha fraternity, Hillel, the African American Interns, Hermanos Unidos, the Hmong Student Union, Mask & Scroll, Women's Ensemble Theatre Troupe, and the East Indian Bhangra Team. Programs included a hip hop competition, a comedy show, a computer gaming tournament, talent shows, and dances.

Priority for funding is typically given to events that are free, scheduled after 9:00 p.m., planned for traditionally peak social times (e.g., first two weeks of the quarter, fall Discovery Days, Halloween, etc.), and produced by collaborations of two or more groups.

To recognize the efforts of student organizations, an Alternative Social Program award will be presented as part of the university's annual Activities Award ceremony held in June. This award will be presented to the student organization(s) whose social, recreational or entertainment event or activity is considered the most effective and well-organized.

If you are interested in ways you can support UCSB's student-initiated social programming efforts, please contact Laurie Hoyle, director of student affairs grant development, at (805) 893-5037.

State-of-the-Art Student Resource Building To Open Doors in 2006

The Division of Student Affairs is pleased to announce that construction of its long-anticipated Student Resource Building (SRB) will begin January 2005. When the SRB opens its doors in 2006, UCSB students for the first time will have access to critical student services located centrally in one state-of-the-art facility. According to dean of students, Dr. Yonie Harris, the SRB "may be unique in the nation in that it is designed to foster social interaction and communication among students."

Because the SRB will house support services rather than academic programs, it is ineligible to receive state funds. Students already have voted to assess themselves fees to cover a portion of the project costs. Remaining costs will be covered by student affairs' operating funds and private contributions. Those interested in supporting this important project may direct their gifts to particular facilities and/or programs that will be housed in the SRB.

These will include the Campus Learning Assistance Service (CLAS) which provides tutoring, the Women's Center and its art gallery and library, a center offering child care for student families, a computer laboratory, and student resource centers. To learn more about the SRB, please contact Dr. Yonie Harris at or Dr. Yolanda Garcia, executive director of student academic support services, at

Alcohol Education Now Available On-Line for UCSB Students

Two new on-line resources sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and Student Health Service are now available to help educate UCSB students about alcohol use in college. These new interactive Web-based resources are being introduced to students during fall quarter 2004 in a variety of ways that include e-mail communications, table tents in the dining commons, campus newspaper advertisements, and assignments in some academic courses and Club Sports teams. is an interactive, on-line prevention-education program designed for college students to reduce drinking and alcohol-related risk behaviors. Developed by Inflexxion with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), (MSB) incorporates scientific principles shown to be associated with behavioral change, including motivational enhancement, individualized feedback, and social norms.

A central feature of the Web site is a risk assessment ("Rate Myself") where students answer questions about their own risk beliefs and behaviors and receive individualized feedback based upon their responses. Other parts of the Web site are personalized to the individual student based on his or her responses to the risk assessment. A multitude of articles, interactive tools, and tips for dealing with tough situations are included with the goal of increasing students' motivation to limit their drinking. Engaging, animated audio peer stories provide students with an array of coping skills to avoid drinking too much in temping situations or to avoid alcohol altogether. A recent study found that students using MSB-Alcohol reported significant reductions in drinking at a three-month follow-up compared to students in a control group.

To access the site, students can visit, register as a first-time user, and enter UCSB's school code: Gaucho. Student visits to the site are both anonymous and confidential. More information about this resource is available at

Electronic Check-Up To Go (E-CHUG)
E-CHUG (Electronic Check-Up To Go) was originally developed at San Diego State University and is now available to students through the UCSB Student Health Service homepage at Drawing on social norms marketing and motivational interviewing theories, E-CHUG is designed to motivate students to reduce their consumption using personalized information about their own drinking and risk factors. The feedback includes information that has been shown to be particularly motivating to college drinkers:

  • Quantity and frequency of drinking

  • Caloric intake

  • Amount consumed and peak BAC

  • Norm comparisons

  • Amount and percent of income spent on alcohol

  • Tolerance level

  • Negative consequences of alcohol use

  • Genetic risk score

  • Explanation, advice, local referral information

E-CHUG requires about ten minutes for students to complete, is self-guided, and needs no face-to-face contact time with a counselor or administrator. E-CHUG also allows students to assess themselves on multiple occasions in order to track changes in drinking and risk behavior over time. For more details, visit

Modernizing the Dining Commons

dlg-taqueria "The times they are a changin'," wrote Bob Dylan forty years ago. It's a little known fact that he was referring to meal times for UCSB residents. Students arrived in the fall to welcome changes instituted by Residential Dining Services during the summer months.

The much-anticipated and highly improved De La Guerra (DLG) Dining Commons opened in September after two years of construction for seismic retrofitting and interior redesign. The newly renovated DLG, with a capacity of 500 people, features a taqueria and new late night café open Sunday through Thursday, 9-11 p.m. If your student eats at De La Guerra exclusively, he or she can plan on skipping breakfast (they won't be open), and having a burger and a shake after the other commons are closed.

Ortega Dining Commons remains open this year with a Monday through Friday meal schedule. Ortega added some improvements to enable better customer access and spiffed up the building this past summer. Highlights include:

  • The old cafeteria hot line has become a self-serve station complete with arrows to ease the transition for students from being served to helping themselves.

  • By popular demand, a stir-fry area was created with a veggie and a meat entrée daily. On some days students can help themselves to Asian cuisine, and on others the entrée is a Mexican theme.

  • In an effort to satisfy students' culturally diverse tastes, the menu was expanded to include sushi. Special equipment was purchased, and Ortega staff members have undergone extensive training to safely prepare and serve sushi. Eight types of sushi are available to students for lunch and dinner including veggie rolls.

  • The ice cream corner has also changed to include a popular "burger chute" where burgers, fries, and similar grill items are always available.

  • Take-out meals were highly popular at Ortega during the DLG remodel, peaking at nearly 1,000 meals a day in the spring. A new take-out on-line feature was launched last February to help reduce the waiting time. Check it out at

With the re-opening of De La Guerra, the university now offers four different eateries to students, including Carrillo and Ortega Dining Commons and the newly available facilities at Francisco Torres (FT), the off-campus residence hall. With the purchase of Francisco Torres, the total student resident population increased by 1300, bringing the total to 4700. FT's popular dining operation began serving the 1300 additional customers this past fall quarter.

Financial Aid Dates, Deadlines & Details

December 15, 2004 - Fees for winter quarter 2005 must be paid or deferred with the Billing-Accounts Receivable Office (BARC) by 4 p.m. on this date. If your son or daughter is a financial aid recipient, the aid (except some parent loans) will be automatically credited to his or her BARC account. This automatic credit requires an enrollment minimum of six units. Students can review their BARC account status on the GOLD system. For more information on this process, refer to pages 12 and 13 in the winter 2005 Schedule of Classes.

January 1, 2005 - This is the first date that the 2005 - 2006 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be filed with the federal processor. To be considered for financial aid, your son or daughter must re-apply each year and list UC Santa Barbara, school code #001320, in step 6 of the FAFSA. The FAFSA is available at all high schools, colleges, and universities across the U.S. It can also be filed electronically on the Internet at Electronic filing of the FAFSA is recommended.

Note: For students who filed a FAFSA for the 2004 - 2005 academic year, the federal processor will automatically send a "renewal" FAFSA in the mail in late January or February. If your son or daughter does not receive the "renewal" FAFSA in the mail and the March 2 deadline is approaching, he or she can file a regular paper FAFSA or file a FAFSA on the Internet.

March 2, 2005 - This is the priority-filing deadline for UCSB financial aid and for Cal Grants. Students who file after this deadline will be considered only for federal Pell Grants and student loans. Students who file the FAFSA should obtain a "certificate of mailing" from the U.S. Postal Service as proof of meeting the priority- filing deadline.

March 15, 2005 - Fees for spring quarter 2005 must be paid or deferred with the Billing-Accounts Receivable Office by 4 p.m. If your son or daughter is a financial aid recipient, the aid (except some parent loans) will be automatically credited to his or her BARC account as long as your student is enrolled in a minimum of six units. Students can review their BARC account on the GOLD system. For more information on this process, refer to pages 12 and 13 in the spring 2005 Schedule of Classes.

April 15, 2005 - This is the deadline to file the 2004 federal tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. Please note that your son or daughter can file the 2004 - 2005 FAFSA using estimated income tax information. In order to meet the March 2, 2005, priority-filing FAFSA deadline, do not wait to file the FAFSA until your taxes are prepared. Educational tax credit information can be accessed at

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.

  • Approximately 4,500 members of UCSB's entering class of 2004 were welcomed during the fifth annual New Student Convocation held overlooking the campus lagoon on September 20, 2004. Chancellor Henry T. Yang and over eighty faculty members and administrators in full academic regalia participated in the formal ceremony designed to transmit campus values of scholarship, leadership, and citizenship to its newest members. Actor, author, and entrepreneur John Cleese provided the keynote address during the ceremony. Following the ceremony, students had the opportunity to attend one of forty-one small group discussions with faculty and staff held in on and off-campus residence halls.

  • In the fall, the Associated Students in partnership with the Division of Student Affairs conducted a highly successful voter registration drive, registering approximately 16,000 students. Spearheaded by junior Marissa Brown, the student voter registration coordinator, and with the assistance of one hundred student volunteers, UCSB was able to maintain its reputation as a leader in voter registration in the UC system. Efforts over a three week period included voter registration in classrooms, residence halls, highly populated areas of campus, and the student community of Isla Vista. Voters are required to re-register every time they move, which for a college student can be each 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.

  • Commencement 2005 dates have been set for Sunday, June 5, 2005, at 11:00 a.m. (College of Creative Studies) and Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, 2005. Information regarding the ceremonies is available on the UCSB Commencement Web site at Tickets are NOT required for Commencement ceremony seating. However, students are asked to respectfully limit their number of guests to a maximum of six. Parents are advised to make hotel and restaurant reservations early since accommodations fill up quickly in the Santa Barbara area during this time of year. You may visit the Commencement Web site for local accommodations, dining suggestions, professional photography information, and much more. If you have questions regarding Commencement, please call (805) 893-7382.

  • Students must make a Commencement reservation in order to participate in 2005 ceremonies. Your son or daughter needs to have 164 units completed or in progress during spring quarter 2005 to be eligible to participate in Commencement. Students will be eligible to make a reservation either during Commencement pass 1 or pass 2 depending on their unit level. Please remind your student to plan his or her unit load for the remainder of the year accordingly. Students should be mindful that reserving a Commencement ceremony and declaring candidacy for a degree are two separate actions on the GOLD system.

Emrgency Loan Fund Assists Students Facing Financial Crises

The challenges of college are many. They include academic challenges-papers, research projects, mid-terms, and finals-as well as more personal challenges such as making friends, coping with homesickness, and staying healthy in spite of stress. However, for a small but significant number of UCSB students, those challenges include unexpected financial crises brought on by, for example, the death of a parent or the loss of property through theft or fire. To help students, particularly low-income students, deal with these financial crises, UCSB's Office of Student Life provides emergency loans in amounts up to several hundred dollars. To date, approximately 100 students have received more than $40,000 total in emergency loans; without emergency loans, many of these students would have been forced to withdraw from UCSB.

The emergency loan fund is supported by the Umfundi Endowment, which was established through the generosity of a UCSB alumnus. UCSB's goal is to grow the endowment so that $10,000 will be available each year for emergency loans. To speak with someone about the Umfundi Endowment, please contact Laurie Hoyle, director of student affairs grant development, at (805) 893-5037. To support the Umfundi Endowment, you may send your check (payable to The UCSB Foundation) to:

The Office of Student Life
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA, 93106-5010
Attention: Dr. Yonie Harris, Dean of Students

Thank you for your support of students in need.

Flu Prevention Tips

The upcoming flu season may be more problematic for UCSB students than in years past because of very limited supplies of flu vaccine this academic year. Student Health Service professionals cannot predict when the peak of the outbreak will take place (though generally this occurs sometime between December and February) or how severe the disease will prove to be this year. Antiviral drugs can be used to treat unvaccinated persons who are exposed to influenza and patients who develop symptoms of the disease. Prompt treatment within 48 hours of the onset of illness may decrease the duration and severity of symptoms, so please encourage your son or daughter to seek treatment if he or she begins to feel ill. Typical symptoms include high fever, intense fatigue and muscle aches, headache, and cough. The incubation period (the time from exposure to development of the first symptoms) is usually one to three days. To help prevent the spread of flu (and other respiratory illnesses), students should:

  • Stay home if sick

  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of used tissues

  • Wash hands with soap and warm water or a hand sanitizer to help protect from germs

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth

  • Students who are absent from classes because of illness should notify their professors as soon as possible. Regardless of the reason for an absence, students will be required to complete all coursework; however, not all faculty provide make-up exam dates. If an illness is late in the quarter or prolonged, making it impossible to complete the coursework on time, a student may petition the instructor to assign an Incomplete (I) grade.

    Monitoring Your Student's Health

    Health Services If your son or daughter is managing a medical condition or chronic illness while away at college, a visit home for winter break can provide you with an extended opportunity to discuss this important matter. Changes in diet, sleep patterns, stress levels, and lifestyle, including use of alcohol and other drugs for some students, can alter the effectiveness of many medications and/or trigger new symptoms. Away from home and an established routine, some students may neglect to take needed medications and put themselves at risk for complications. Whether your son or daughter is managing diabetes or depression, be sure he or she is informed about how best to manage and monitor his or her health. Resources are available to students at UCSB through Student Health Service by contacting Burt Romotsky, social worker, at (805) 893-3380, or by appointment with a licensed psychologist at Counseling and Career Services at (805) 893-4411.

    Staying Connected

    Campus Connection On-line

    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: Anne Athanassakis, Mike Conaway, Meghan Dougherty, Elizabeth Downing, MD, Debbie Fleming, Laurie Hoyle, Miguel Moran, Bill Shelor
    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.

    Download the Fall 2004 Newsletter in PDF Format:
    Parent Newsletter Download in PDF Format

    Get Adobe Acrobat
    SA Home UCSB Home Content maintained by Student Information Systems WebMaster
       2010 Regents of the University of California --All information on this server and use there of is governed by the Student Affairs Web Server policies.