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A Student Affairs Newsletter for Parents
Dear UCSB Parent:

No doubt you have heard about the recent accident in Isla Vista that ended the lives of four young people, two of them UCSB students, and seriously injured another. This terrible tragedy, closely following the loss of two other UCSB students, has had a profound impact on the entire UCSB community. It has been particularly hard on those students who witnessed the scene or had friends who died. One consolation is the way our community has come together to support one another, to honor and remember the victims, and to comfort and console their friends and families. Our students have truly shown their compassion, the hugeness of their hearts, and their tremendous resilience, and they provide hope and a model for us all.

Even though the healing has begun for many students, such an event can have lasting emotional impacts. Each person handles trauma and grief differently, and to better understand the process, I encourage you to read the accompanying article written by UCSB's counseling staff. I also encourage you to take some time to talk with your sons and daughters about how they are feeling. Should they need assistance, a number of campus resources (listed on this page) are available to help them.

A tragedy such as this serves to remind us once again how precious our loved ones are and how dear our time together.

Michael D. Young
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Campus Resources

Counseling Needs:
Students who are experiencing emotional distress or grief are encouraged to seek assistance from psychologists at Counseling and Career Services (893-4411). Information is available from their web site:

Academic Difficulties:
Students who are experiencing academic difficulties are encouraged to seek guidance and academic counseling from professional advisors in the College of Letters and Science (893-3201), the College of Engineering (893-2809), and the College of Creative Studies (893-5319).

Health Issues:
Medical assistance is available at Student Health. Call 893-3371 for an appointment.

Other Needs:
Students who need assistance with administrative issues related to classes or require other support should contact the Office of Student Life/Dean of Students Office at 893-4569.

Summer School 2001: Discover the Treasures

Summer Sessions Logo

Summer 2001 will provide a unique hybrid of summer instruction as UCSB begins the transition from a traditional self-supporting summer session to a fully state-funded summer term that more closely resembles the three academic-year quarters. UCSB, along with UCLA and UC Berkeley, is making changes to summer school curriculum in anticipation of "Tidal Wave II"-an expected surge in the number of UC-eligible students over the next decade. This expanded summer term is an essential part of the University's plans for accommodating increased enrollment.

To encourage students to move from other summer activities to the classrooms, Summer Sessions is offering reduced fees this year. For an eight-unit load, fees are almost thirty percent lower than last summer, and for the first time eligible students will be offered a range of financial aid opportunities. The summer curriculum also has been broadly expanded this year. The new curriculum has been designed to help students enroll in courses that may be hard to get during the regular academic school year and to offer special learning opportunities that help accelerate progress towards the degree. For instance, students can enroll in intensive sequence courses in a number of disciplines, allowing them to complete coursework during one summer that might take several quarters during the regular academic term. Intensive language courses, for example, can cover as much as three quarters of work in as little as nine summer weeks. Here are a few more examples of the unique advantages Summer Sessions offers to UCSB students:

Broad Array of Courses

Summer Sessions offers a broad array of almost six hundred courses from over forty departments. Courses carry full academic credit and provide the same high quality instruction as in the other academic terms but in less crowded classrooms (summer class sizes average about half that of other terms).

Pay Only For the Courses Needed

During summer, unlike other terms, students pay fees according to the number of courses taken. This allows students to focus on a single subject area that might be particularly challenging when taken in a busy fall, winter, or spring term.

Financial Aid Available For Summer

For the first time, summer financial aid grants will be packaged with other forms of aid. The Summer Financial Aid Application will be ready for interested students earlier than ever before, beginning on March 15th. The priority filing date for financial aid for UCSB continuing students is April 20.

Sequenced Courses

The scheduling of sequenced courses in summer will give students a chance to complete several quarters of study in as little as six to twelve weeks. Sequenced courses are offered in Arabic, biology, chemistry, Chinese, economics, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Latin, math, Portuguese and Spanish. Interested students can enroll in the first of a two-part series early in the summer and take the companion course later in the summer.

Flexible Scheduling

In addition to the traditional six-week session (June 25 - August 3), almost ninety other courses will be offered at other times this summer, and many have been included in a second six-week session that begins August 6. Students can take time to work or travel earlier (or later) in the summer and still enroll in one or more courses. Industrious students can take advantage of the flexible scheduling to complete fifteen or more units before the beginning of the fall quarter. For students who prefer a lighter load, some courses can be completed in as little as three weeks, leaving time for additional study, work, or simply kicking back and enjoying the pleasures of summer in Santa Barbara.

Required General Education (GE) Courses Offered

About forty-five percent of summer courses satisfy one or more general education requirement, and are designed to help meet the major requirements of many academic departments.

Easy Registration and Priority for UCSB Students

Continuing UCSB students can register easily and quickly-no application fee is necessary. Simply enroll in classes using the convenience of Registration By Telephone or through our new web-based registration system. Continuing students are given first priority for enrolling in summer courses until April 30, 2001. Enrollment opens on April 9, 2001, and early enrollment is highly recommended.

The Summer Sessions theme this year is "Discover the Treasures," which reflects the incredible value and unique advantages of attending a UCSB summer program. Encourage your son or daughter to get a taste of what's available by sampling the partial listing of courses shown on the Summer Sessions web site ( The Summer Sessions catalog will provide a full listing of courses and will be available at the beginning of Spring Quarter. Call (805) 893-2315 or send an e-mail to to request a Summer Sessions catalog.

Summer Survival Tips

"Summer"-that word evokes images of long days of sun, warm evenings, family vacations, and fun. In a few short weeks, some of your sons and daughters will be returning home for summer, and even those who have summer commitments away from home will probably visit at least for a little while. It is important to plan ahead for your student's return so that everyone can have a good time.

Whether you are the parent of a freshman or a graduating senior, your student's college break plans can prove to be a source of family connection or disconnection. This is especially true during the long summer break. When problems arise, the source is often a lack of communication. Both you and your student already have visions of how summer will be. Each of you is looking forward to the freedom that summer brings and planning to maximize your enjoyment. However, you may not have the same visions of what a "great summer" looks like, and this can lead to frustration and disappointment.

Before your son or daughter comes home, it would be a good idea to think about what your expectations are around the following issues. Also, check in with your spouse or partner and other children, as you each might have different expectations.

Some things to consider:
  • Will the family take a vacation this summer together? If so, where and for how long?
  • Will your student be expected to adhere to a curfew? Is your student expected to communicate his/her whereabouts? If so, how often?
  • Will your student be expected to participate in household chores? If so, which ones and how much time per week?
  • Will your student be working? If so, how many hours per week? Is your student expected to use his/her paycheck for certain things? If so, what are they?
  • How much time do you expect the family to spend together? When? What types of things would you like to be doing together?
  • How much free time will your student have? Is it his/her time to decide what to do with or do you have thoughts about what is the "best" use of his/her time?

When you have determined your own expectations and those of others in the house, you will need to ask your son or daughter the same questions. Once everyone has had a chance to communicate, you can then identify where the disagreements lie. At this point, negotiation can begin. It might be helpful to determine which things people feel most strongly about and which are more negotiable. You also might want to consider what issue might be "underneath" the item you are discussing. For example, parents often set curfews as a way to increase safety for their sons and daughters. It might be important to explore other ways to accomplish the same thing. This process can be challenging, but after you have reached some agreements, the summer will progress much more smoothly.

One final thing to remember is that when your son or daughter first comes home, you should expect a certain amount of "laziness." The pace of the quarter system is extremely intense; and college students can experience high levels of stress in keeping up with their academics, managing work or extracurricular commitments, maintaining relationships, and conducting daily business. Many college students do not sleep or eat as well as they should, or they use caffeine to help them get a few more usable hours out of each day. While they can maintain this intense pace for a limited time, they often "crash" when they first get home. They may sleep a lot and revel in doing as little as possible. This is normal. Once they "recharge the batteries," they will join in family life again. Be patient. You might want to use this time as an opportunity to have a talk about maintaining a healthy balance. We often find that students say "yes" to everything and then become over-committed. They rarely drop a commitment once they have made it, even when it would be healthier to do so. In addition, students are often still learning how to manage their time effectively and efficiently. Help them assess their choices and, if need be, see if they can reduce their responsibilities and take better care of themselves.

These suggestions should help you and your family members maximize your fun this summer. You might also find that these techniques help you communicate more clearly about a variety of issues. We hope you have a wonderful summer!

UCSB Responds to the Energy Crisis

Students and visitors to campus are likely to encounter a dimmer UCSB as the campus does its part to reduce demand for energy. While the campus has so far been spared from rolling blackouts and disruption of classes and other campus activities, many buildings and departments are turning off unnecessary lights and equipment as part of a campus-wide effort to conserve. Though the campus has some measure of price protection for electrical power due to an agreement crafted several years ago with Enron Corporation, this contract runs only through March, 2002. According to Jim Dewey, UCSB's Energy Manager, "after that, UCSB can expect as much as a 60 percent increase in electrical costs." UCSB's gas bill for January was 430 percent higher this year than last year. As a result, the campus is currently negotiating a new natural gas contract with protections from market volatility. The Governor has mandated that all state agencies, including the University, take assertive measures to reduce peak demands. UCSB has responded with a variety of efforts to conserve. Among them are the following:

  • heating and cooling in non-research areas, especially between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m., are reduced

  • faculty, staff, and student employees have been urged to turn off all non-essential equipment, lights, computers, monitors, and heaters when leaving work

  • two-thirds of the campus has been retrofitted with high-efficiency lighting

  • buildings have been equipped with energy management controls

  • high-efficiency boilers and chillers have been installed in several buildings
For many years, UCSB's Housing and Residential Services, which houses students in residence halls on campus and university-owned apartments off campus, has been a leader in energy conservation. They have been using solar-heated water since 1985 and are constantly upgrading to more efficient equipment and lighting systems. The department also uses over twenty alternative fueled vehicles (fueled by compressed natural gas or electricity) to help keep the air clean. In a creative approach to reducing campus energy demands, residence hall and apartment residents are participating in an energy conservation contest. Residents win prizes, such as energy-efficient lamps and computer monitors, for the highest reduction in energy use as compared to baseline averages. Students can turn off lights when they leave the room, turn down their heaters at night, and if they leave during the day, turn off their computers (especially the monitor, which uses five times as much energy as the computer). According to Mark Rousseau, Energy & Environment Manager for Housing and Residential Services, "the campus could easily save ten percent of electric use just by turning things off when they are not being used."

Helping Your Student Cope

The accident and subsequent loss of lives that occurred in Isla Vista on February 23 has resulted in a range of feelings, emotions, and reactions among UCSB students. Friends and roommates of the victims have experienced unimaginable loss. Other students who were in Isla Vista on that night have been coping with what they witnessed at the accident scene. Even students who did not know the victims have been profoundly affected. In some cases, this tragedy has brought to mind other losses, which are being mourned again. With events of this proportion, it is also common for the most significant emotional reaction to be felt a few weeks or even a month after the actual event. It is normal for students to experience a variety of reactions. After the accident, many students were contacted by parents and friends who learned about the tragedy. Students deeply appreciated these calls and notes. Professional counselors from UCSB's Counseling and Career Services met and talked with students and some parents, offering their support during this time of trauma and grief.

The unexpected nature of sudden death can make grief especially difficult. When death is the result of a senseless accident, there is often the sudden shock of loss. It can also be particularly challenging for students to deal with feelings caused by the death of other young adults. It throws off their sense of order: those who died were just starting out and were so full of promise. In reaction to all of this, students may experience anger or rage that can't be readily focused or eased. In this circumstance there may be things that your son or daughter wishes he or she had said or done that are left unfinished.

With all deaths, the sense of mortality may be triggered and the meaning of life, challenged. Spiritual and religious doubts can be raised as questions arise about why this had to happen. Emotions can cycle between intense sadness, anger, irritability at unrelated situations, and guilt on the part of those who appear to be doing okay and carrying on.

Grieving takes strength and courage and can look very different in each individual. Some people are comfortable crying openly; others don't cry at all but may be grieving just as intensely. There is no right way to grieve. Students should be allowed and encouraged to feel the range of feelings and doubts that are happening for them.

If your son or daughter has been affected by the accident, you will likely find that he or she will want to relax during the spring break. In addition, more time may be needed for reflection. Some students will want to talk about what happened and others will not. It can be helpful for students to talk with others (mutual friends, family) who know the person who died. This can allow students to share not only the loss and sadness but to celebrate the joy of knowing and being touched by the individual(s). It can also help to write a letter to the family or even to the person who died as a way of saying good-bye.

As a parent, you are encouraged to be aware of the variety of emotional responses your son or daughter may be having. Please refer him or her to Counseling and Career Services to make an appointment with one of our counselors if needed. Counselors will be on campus and available through finals and over the break, with the exception of March 26, when Counseling and Career Services will be closed for an administrative holiday. In addition, there is a grief group at Counseling and Career Services for students (call 805-893-4411 for meeting times during Spring Quarter, 2001). Resources for parents and students are available on UCSB's Counseling and Career Services web site at There is also a web site dealing with grief and bereavement that offers articles and connections to other resources at With time, with access to the kind of support services available on campus, and with understanding from family and friends, students should be able to cope effectively, and their lives and feelings should return to normal.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Graduation But Didn't Know Who To Ask

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the procedures for Commencement?
  • Students can make a Commencement reservation using RBT (Registration By Telephone).
    Note: Making a Commencement reservation does not mean that a student is eligible for an official degree from UCSB. Declaring candidacy for graduation and making a Commencement reservation are two separate actions on RBT.

  • Regalia (cap and gown) can be picked up at the Bookstore June 11-15 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., and June 16 and 17 from 8 a.m. - 4 pm.

  • Undergraduates should pick up a stage pass June 11-15 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. in front of the Bookstore by the UCen entrance.

  • Students must report to the Events Center with their cap and gown AND stage pass 45 minutes before their ceremony is to begin. No guests are allowed inside the Events Center, and alcohol is prohibited. Volunteers will be inside the Events Center to assist with caps and gowns. Students may assemble and walk with friends. Any items left behind in the ECen may be reclaimed at the Commencement Information Tent Lost & Found. Please note: Engineering students walk by majors. They may walk with friends who are in the same major.

  • At the appointed time, students will walk in-file along a designated route from the ECen to the Commencement area (Faculty Club Green). Each ceremony lasts for approximately two hours.

  • Regalia (cap and gown) must be returned to the designated site adjacent to the Commencement area immediately following the ceremony. Look for signs near the site.

Where do students get information on honors?

Information about honors at graduation is available in the UCSB General Catalog. For more specific information, students should contact their college. Each college and department may also award additional honors and will contact students directly if they are to receive special regalia.

How does a student become a Commencement speaker?

Each college has a procedure for selecting Commencement speakers; usually selection is made by a faculty committee based on nomination and interviews. Students can contact their college for specific information.

Where do students get announcements, class ring, diploma framing information, and cap and gown information?

All of the above may be obtained from the UCSB Bookstore. The Bookstore will open a Commencement Graduation Center around March 5, 2001 where specific information on these items may be obtained.

What about access and seating for the elderly, disabled and sun-sensitive guests?

Guests using wheelchairs, or for whom a long walk is difficult, should ask parking attendants for direction to accessible parking. Inquire at the Commencement Information Tent by the upper entrance to the Faculty Club for help with wheelchair access. There is limited sun-shaded seating, so sun-sensitive persons should arrive early. Hats and sunscreen will be available for sale at the Bookstore tent.

Do students need to reserve seating for guests and how many guests are allowed?

There is no reserved seating for guests and no limit as to the number of guests. However, please keep in mind that hundreds of other graduating seniors will be inviting thousands of family and friends as well.

How soon should guests make hotel and restaurant reservations?

Hotel and restaurant reservations need to be made as soon as possible. Allow at least three hours from start of ceremony for restaurant reservations. For assistance with hotel reservations, call 800/793-7666 Hot Spots Reservations or 800/292-2222 Coastal Escapes.

How do students find out if their major department is holding a Commencement reception?

Students should inquire at their major department office after the start of Spring Quarter.

More specific information on all of the above will be available at the Grad Fair taking place on April 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the UCen lobby. Various campus department representatives and vendors will be available to answer Commencement questions.

Other Phone Numbers:
Declaration/Official Degree Questions (Office of the Registrar) 893-2633
UCSB Bookstore 893-7602
Public Events 893-7382
Alumni Association 893-2288

Briefly Speaking…

Student Newspaper Online.
The Daily Nexus, an independent student publication serving UC Santa Barbara and the surrounding community, can now be accessed online at Stay in touch with your son or daughter by keeping up with the latest campus news, events, features, sports, and editorials. In publication for more than 30 years, the Nexus is considered one of the nation's top-rated collegiate newspapers. Production takes place five days a week by a staff of approximately 100 students; distribution tops 11,000 newspapers per day.

Health Insurance Mandated.
Plans are progressing smoothly towards a fall 2001 implementation date for the Regents' recent mandate that all undergraduate students have health insurance (graduate students have had this requirement for more than ten years). UCSB has negotiated an excellent plan at an annual cost of $458 per student. Primary care services will be provided at Student Health, and students will be referred to specialists in the local community when necessary. The plan has an extensive provider network throughout the state as well, so that students can access necessary care when they are at home. The premium automatically will be assessed to each student's BARC account and will be included in the financial aid budget. Students who have proof of equivalent coverage will be able to waive out of the plan. Kaiser insurance will qualify for the waiver, but students with Kaiser plans seriously should consider also participating in the UCSB plan. The nearest Kaiser providers are in Ventura, and many specialty services require travel to Woodland Hills. Full information, including insurance brochure and waiver forms, will be mailed to students' permanent addresses in July. The information and form also will be available on the Student Health web site at For those who wish to waive out of the plan, the waiver form and proof of insurance must be received by the Student Health Service on or before August 15, 2001.

Retention on the Rise.
The university takes pride in the decision of students to return to UCSB for their sophomore year. Beginning with the fall 1995 freshman class, the one-year retention rate has consistently increased from 86 percent to our current rate of 91 percent. We are pleased that your sons and daughters have chosen to remain on our campus to continue their educational careers. You can be of assistance by reminding your student to take advantage of all the academic and personal support programs on the campus. Examples of these include meeting with an academic advisor in their respective College, visiting the Career Resource room at Counseling and Career Services, or attending workshops offered by either the Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) or the Educational Opportunity Program. Academic success also is tied to students' connectedness to the campus. In this regard, encourage your students to visit faculty during office hours and to consider joining an organization that sparks an interest. The UCSB staff and faculty look forward to continuing to work with your sons and daughters as they strive to achieve their academic goals.


Summer Session financial aid (grants and loans) will be available to eligible continuing UCSB undergraduate students who attend spring quarter 2001 and who are in academic good standing. Only loan funds will be available to graduate students. Students must be enrolled at least half-time or more (for undergraduates, this is a minimum of six units; for graduate students, it is a minimum of four units).

Priority filing deadline:
Eligible undergraduates must submit the 2001 UCSB Summer Session financial aid application to the UCSB Financial Aid Office by the priority filing deadline of April 20 to be considered for grant aid. Applicants who submit the 2001 Summer Session financial aid application after the priority filing deadline will be considered only for loans.


  • March 15 - The 2001 UCSB Summer Session financial aid application is available.

  • April 2 - If you have not filed a 2000-2001 (pink) FAFSA, you should do so by this date so UCSB can receive your financial aid data electronically by the April 20 processing deadline.

  • April 20 - Priority filing deadline to submit a 2001 UCSB Summer Session financial aid application.

  • June 29 - Last day to submit a 2001 UCSB Summer Session financial aid application.

The 2001 UCSB Summer Session financial aid application and additional information about this process will be available at the UCSB Financial Aid Office and on the UCSB Financial Aid Office web site ( beginning March 15, 2001.

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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