Parent Newsletter
Summer 2010Volume 11Issue 3

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Student Health Transitions
UCSB's Dining Services Recognized for Sustainability Excellence
The Olive Tree Initiative Spreads Branches
Student Health Reminders
Student Initiated Outreach Program (SIOP) Changes Lives
Campus Rallies for Haiti Relief
Commencement Planning Begins Now
Staying Connected

UCSB Students and Student Affairs- Maintaining UCSB's Edge in Environmental Excellence

IN SPRING 2010, UCSB students voted to support the Student Services Renewable Energy Solution. This student-driven ballot initiative was approved by a record 66% of undergraduates and 72% of graduate students. The initiative will direct nearly $3.4 million over ten years to support Student Affairs' Zero Net Energy (ZNE) project. According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, this initiative surpasses all other U.S. colleges and universities in its support for the creation of on-site, renewable energy.

The ZNE project combines energy efficiency and conservation with the use of clean, renewable energy to earn the highest LEED rating for ten buildings funded by student fees. These include the Student Resource Building, Counseling and Career Services, Student Health, and the Recreation Center, the latter of which is already generating energy via a rooftop photovoltaic array. By increasing efficiency and generating energy on site, the Division of Student Affairs will use monies currently paid to utilities to maintain critical student success services instead. Accordingly, the initiative will sustain not only the environment, but also important programs offering tutoring, student wellness and mental health support, student leadership development, and internships. This relatively new, green financial model has not yet been attempted on the large scale that UCSB is pursuing. Zero Net Energy responds to students' demands that today's institutions be educationally, fiscally, and environmentally responsible.

Zero Net Energy projects will include:

  • Installation of a 200 kW solar array on the top deck of Parking Structure 22
  • Use of solar pre-heat for water at the Recreation Center Aquatic Complex
  • Partnership with UCSB's Institute for Energy Efficiency to install energy monitoring sensors and software that will visually identify heating and/or cooling inefficiencies at the Student Resource Building
  • Transformation of the UCSB Recreation Center into a demonstration showcase for emerging and proven technologies in conjunction with Southern California Edison

To learn more or lend your support to Zero Net Energy, we invite you to contact Student Affairs Grants and Development via Laurie Hoyle at (805) 893-5037 or or Bill Shelor at (805) 893-3297 or

Clay "During my UCSB tenure, I served as the Division of Student Affairs' Stephen S. Goodspeed intern and the external vice president for local affairs representing UCSB's Associated Students. I was also a student representative on the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability and an advisor to UCSB's Green Campus Program, a student-led initiative focused on campus energy efficiencies.

Knowing that UCSB provides students with opportunities to interact with faculty and staff on important initiatives was a key factor in my decision to attend UCSB. It is not surprising that many students choose to attend UCSB based upon its well-deserved reputation for environmental awareness.

Perhaps the one accomplishment I am most proud of is the successful student referendum this past spring that will fund over $3.4 million in renewable energy projects on campus. Scarce resources that were previously spent on escalating utility costs can now be reallocated to supporting student services that are at risk as a result of budget cuts."
Clay Carlson
Environmental Studies major
Class of 2010

Student Health Transitions


AFTER 30 YEARS of dedicated service at UCSB, Dr. Elizabeth Downing will be retiring from her role as director of Student Health this fall. A Board certified pediatrician with specialty training in adolescent medicine, Dr. Downing began her work at UCSB as staff physician and held the position of director of Student Health for the past five years. Over the years, Dr. Downing developed a specialization in working with intercollegiate athletic teams, as well as students with mental health and eating disorders. As the university's public health officer, Dr. Downing provided exceptional leadership on public health issues through campus planning and protocols around public health issues like H1N1. In addition to providing excellent healthcare for UCSB students, Dr. Downing worked in the Cottage and Goleta Valley Hospital emergency departments for over 20 years and has been involved in numerous public health programs. Dr. Downing intends to continue in her role as team physician for the UCSB women's basketball team, a charge she has enjoyed since 1998, as well as practicing part-time college health, with an emphasis on mental health and drug and alcohol abuse prevention. Student Affairs enthusiastically welcomes Dr. Mary Ferris in her new role as director of Student Health. Dr. Ferris has been the medical director at Student Health for the past three years, after extensive director experience in medical clinics like Planned Parenthood and the Family Medicine Center in Glendale, California.Clay Dr. Ferris received a masters' degree in biological sciences at UCSB and completed her medical training at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Irvine. She has been on the faculty of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, where she received honors for teaching. Her academic interests include preventive medicine and quality improvement. She is also a strong advocate for continuing medical education and chairs our county's Consortium that provides these kinds of programs for health care professionals. Outside of work, Dr. Ferris keeps busy with a daughter in college and a son in high school, and enjoys bicycling and swimming. .

UCSB's Dining Services Recognized for Sustainability Excellence

UCSB RESIDENTIAL DINING SERVICES' commitment to sustainability continues to enhance our reputation as one of the greenest campuses in the country. Since 2005, Dining Services has partnered with students and vendors to help transform UCSB into a sustainable community. Their programs include purchasing increasing quantities of local, fair trade, and organic produce and implementing conservation initiatives focused on energy, water, and waste. In recognition of its pioneering accomplishments, Dining Services received the 2010 Energy Efficiency Partnership Program for Sustainable Food Service Operations award at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in June.

Students were a driving force behind one of these initiatives - the trayless dining movement. As part of its sustainable foods campaign, the Environmental Affairs Board of Associated Students met with dining commons officials and proposed "The Trayless Challenge," which served as a campus trial run during Sustainability Week in 2008-09. Since then, trayless dining has been adopted in all dining halls, reducing the average food waste per person by over 50% and saving energy and water (over a million gallons per year). It has also resulted in shorter food lines and a smoother process during peak dining hours, as well as financial benefits for the university. According to Jill Horst, director of Residential Dining Services, the reaction from students has been overwhelmingly positive. "The overall impact of what we've seen is a big success," Horst said, "There would be no reason to go back to trays. Ever." Less waste also means reduced food costs, with savings that translate into increased sustainable purchasing (including almost 100% sustainable seafood, as well as sustainable and organic produce)..

On another front, Mark Rousseau, energy and environmental manager for Housing & Residential Services, oversaw the launch of UCSB's composting pilot project, which began at the campus's De La Guerra Dining Commons in 2008 and is scheduled to roll out to all dining halls this fall. Through this program, all pre- and post-consumer food waste is transported to processing facilities where it is turned into compost for reuse in grass and plant beds around campus. The impact of this pilot project was remarkable. In 2008, an estimated 80% of the De La Guerra waste was taken to landfills, while 20% was diverted. In 2009-10, approximately 90% of the waste was diverted, with only 10% winding up in area landfills. In addition to these initiatives, Dining Services has been committed to education and outreach programs partnering with student and community groups, as well as sustainable building and energy efficiency practices that include the use of Energy Star-rated and energy efficient equipment and lighting systems; electric, hybrid and CNG vehicles; solar panels; and recycled construction materials. For more information about Dining Services' sustainability initiatives, visit or contact Bonnie Crouse at (805) 893-3315 or Mark Rousseau at (805) 893-3092.

UCSB recognized in The Princeton-Review's 2011 Green Rating Honor Roll

This distinction was awarded to only 18 campuses that received the highest possible score in their Green Rating tallies this year.

The Olive Tree Initiative Spreads Branches

IN EARLY 2007, a group of University of California, Irvine (UCI) students from diverse religious, ethnic, and political backgrounds came together to create a forum for dialogue around Palestinian-Israeli issues. They called this forum The Olive Tree Initiative (OTI). In September 2008, sixteen students and two professors embarked on a two-week trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories to engage in first-person dialogue with political, religious, and grassroots leaders. In summer 2009, twenty-two more students made the journey. Since its founding, the organization received Orange County Human Relations Commission's prestigious Human Relations Award (2009) and has shared its mission in over 40 forums on and off campus, winning and building a robust, civil dialogue on one of the most complex international issues of our times.

Inspired by the organization's groundbreaking work, UCSB students Oren Avram Ofer and Saleh Abdulla attended UCI's OTI 2009 Spring Leadership Summit and, upon their return, launched the second chapter of the organization here at UCSB. With a mission of establishing "a permanent peace between the Palestinian and Israeli people" through dialogue, education and travel to the region, the UCSB's OTI aims for nothing short of shaping "a new generation of American leaders who are more attuned to the prospects of peace." This year, UCSB's OTI chapter held a two-day system-wide summit of student leaders that featured national and international speakers with various perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and breakout sessions aimed at dialogue facilitation and community engagement. Thanks in great part to OTI's efforts, the Muslim Students Association, Hillel, American Students for Israel, and the Lebanese Club, organizations which rarely interacted over a year ago, now regularly host joint events.

According to the group's faculty advisor, Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer, "UCSB's Olive Tree Initiative is led by a remarkable group of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian students all dedicated to … showing that a spirit of harmony and reconciliation can drown out the voices of discord. Rejecting the strident language of extremists on both sides, these passionate, committed students have led a campus-wide movement for peace in the Middle East. They exemplify the best of the UC spirit, and have shown leadership in persuading their fellow students that global citizenship affirms justice and dignity and a better future for all." For more information about The Olive Tree Initiative at UCSB, visit

Green-Honor-Roll "I helped co-found and lead the Olive Tree Initiative at UCSB, and was also co-president of the Muslim Students Association. Both my parents come from Yemen, where I have spent time studying the Arabic language. I was raised in a town of 500 people in Northern California where I helped my father run a small grocery store while growing up. When not in school, I serve as a volunteer firefighter for West Stanislaus County, and I have served as a firefighter on a strike team with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. I plan to attend law school to pursue a JD in international law after my graduation in June 2010.

I strongly believe in the mission of the Olive Tree Initiative. People often neglect the human dimension of conflict when discussing political issues. The absence of empathy within discourse is what leads individuals or groups of people to commit wrongs against each other. The Olive Tree Initiative serves to produce constructive dialogue by illuminating the human dimension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and this is why I personally believe in our mission as an organization."
Saleh Abdulla,
Co-president, 2009-2010
Olive Tree Initiative at UCSB

Green-Honor-Roll "I'm excited to see that the Olive Tree Initiative is gaining momentum! I had no idea people would be so enthusiastic about this kind of project. I left UCSB after my freshman year to volunteer in the Israeli Defense Forces, where I served for two and a half years as a tank commander. Upon my return to UCSB, I came across the Donald A. Strauss Foundation Serviceship, which gives California college students financial backing to carry out a large community service project. I chose to focus on something very personal to me and establish a dialogue group on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are now fundraising to send three UCSB students to the region with students from several other UCs. They will meet with community, religious, military, and political leaders to try to gain a better understanding of the complexities of the conflict. When they return, they will facilitate dialogues and debates on campus and will spearhead the next OTI trip. The media likes to report on clashes between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups, and we see that even on our campus. What they neglect to report is that, for each troublemaker out there, there are hundreds more devoted to peaceful coexistence." Oren Avram Ofer
Co-president, 2009-2010
Olive Tree Initiative at UCSB

Student Health Reminders

  • Because adequate health insurance is mandatory for all students (as directed by the University of California Board of Regents), UCSB students are automatically enrolled in the UCSB Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), which provides a cost-effective, complete health care package. The $332 quarterly premium will appear on university billing statements in August. Spring quarter covers the student through the summer until the beginning of the next academic year. Many parents with personal insurance choose to have their students dual-covered during their tenure at UCSB, particularly if the other insurance plan is an HMO, as it is a requirement that students have a primary care provider within 25 miles of Santa Barbara. However, if you have personal insurance with benefits adequate to waive out of SHIP and do not choose to have dual coverage, you may submit a waiver request online. The waiver deadline for fall quarter is September 1. Waiver requests will be accepted until September 11 with a $50 late fee, and NO requests can be accepted after September 12. For more information, please visit If you have insurance-related questions, you can email or call an insurance advisor at (805) 893-2592.
  • New UCSB students under age 19 are required by California state law to provide certification of immunity to the Hepatitis B virus prior to enrollment, which should be submitted via an online certification form available at
  • Student Health strongly urges all incoming students to obtain immunization against meningitis and pertussis (also called whooping cough) this summer. Both these illnesses can spread quickly in shared housing among young adults. While UCSB has not experienced these disease outbreaks, they have been reported in other regions and California, in particular, has seen an increase in whooping cough cases in young children this year. The vaccine against whooping cough is part of the tetanus booster shot called Tdap (Tetanus diphtheria acellular pertussis). All students should have at least one Tdap on their lifetime immunization record. If they do not, Student Health recommends that they obtain it, along with the meningitis vaccine called Menactra, Menveo, or Menomune, before arriving at UCSB. Immunization and other relevant medical records can be faxed to Student Health at (805) 893-2758.
  • Once your student arrives at UCSB, he or she may obtain immunizations at Student Health during daily drop-in hours. Flu shots will be offered once they are available, usually beginning in October. Please see the Student Health website for details at

Student Initiated Outreach Program (SIOP) Changes Lives


EACH YEAR, REGISTERED STUDENT organizations have the extraordinary opportunity to create programs to motivate under-represented, low-income youth to pursue a college education. Through the Student Initiated Outreach Program (SIOP), student organizations regularly bring hundreds of pre-college students to campus for events that include campus tours, talks by motivational speakers, and presentations on financial aid, transition issues, and university requirements. These are meant to provide visiting students with an inspiring glimpse of life at the university, including eating in the dining halls, staying overnight in the residence halls, and attending university lectures. Many programs also offer a parent component, during which parents learn how to support their students in preparing for college admission.

Funding for SIOP is provided annually by California state legislators to the University of California and is distributed to individual campuses through the UC Office of the President. During the 2009-2010 academic year, UCSB's SIOP funding committee awarded $76,000 to twelve UCSB student organizations for student-initiated outreach programs that brought 2800 visitors to campus. Los Ingenieros' Science & Technology Day, for example, drew 900 pre-college students with the goal of exposing them to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors. Hermanos Unidos and Sigma Alpha Zeta hosted the College Link Outreach Program, which recruited 120 under-represented students from Los Angeles schools. The Black Student Union held its fifteenth annual outreach program targeting 100 African American junior high and high school students from Los Angeles and Bay Area schools. The Vietnamese Student Union implemented a two-day program for sixty high school students from Garden Grove and the Vietnamese American High School Alliance in Southern California. MUJER's Mujercita Conference welcomed 200 at-risk, female high school students from the Santa Barbara and Goleta school districts.

Evaluations submitted at the conclusion of each program consistently confirm the life-changing impact of SIOP. In the words of one visiting student, "This program was an awesome experience and a spark of inspiration. It has made me want to be more successful in what I do and… to attend the University of California." In a similar vein, one parent wrote: "My son had the experience of a lifetime. Your program has definitely turned him on to college life. He is even more determined to attend UCSB, which brings tears to my eyes. I am so blessed and grateful there is an organization which allows students who don't have resources or the funds for continued education to pursue their dreams." For more information about SIOP, visit (updated annually in September) or contact SIOP committee co-chairs Claudia Batty at (805) 893-8897 or Barbra Ortiz at (805) 893-7884.

Campus Rallies for Haiti Relief

UCSB STUDENTS' RESPONSE to the January 12 earthquake in Haiti testified, once again, to their remarkable leadership and global activism. Associated Students (A.S.), a non-profit student government organization, led a major relief campaign beginning with the January 13 meeting of A.S. Legislative Council, which passed a resolution supporting Haitian relief efforts and taking the lead with a donation matching challenge. To follow through on its promise, A.S. Legislative Council set up the A.S. Haitian Earthquake Relief fund, making an initial donation of $2000 and pledging to match all donations up to $25,000.

In late January, Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board, The Human Rights Council, The Fund for Santa Barbara, and KCSB 91.9 sponsored a Haiti Relief Benefit at Corwin Pavilion to raise awareness and collect donations. The event included a presentation by Dr. Nadège Clitandre, executive director of the Berkeley-based non-profit Haiti Soleil, and a panel discussion featuring Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief International, and Santa Barbara City Council representative Das Williams. Students also played a key role in planning the February 11 Haiti Relief Concert featuring local musicians in Storke Plaza, which attracted a large crowd. The concert, which was organized by the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), The Human Rights Council, Associated Students, and A.S. Environmental Affairs Board, raised $1200 for the Center for Black Studies' Haiti Relief Fund, which was started by UCSB's Center for Black Studies Research in an effort to provide emergency relief and develop long-term, sustainable projects in Haiti. With the help of Associated Students, the campus community raised an impressive $49,925 for Haitian relief efforts over a two-week period. The funds were donated to Lambi Fund of Haiti, an aid organization focused on long-term sustainability and agriculture, and to the Santa Barbara-based Direct Relief International, which works toward immediate relief.

Last April, UCSF's Mission Bay campus hosted the UC Haiti Summit, a system-wide, student-organized event that drew more than 250 students, staff, and faculty from nine UC campuses. Featuring talks by UC professors and Ambassador Leslie Voltaire, the United Nations special envoy to Haiti, the summit focused on identifying future projects, exploring collaborations, and developing a coordinated plan of action. Among its outcomes, the summit generated agreement on a proposal to be made to the UC Office of the President for the institution of a coordinating administrative center for ongoing Haiti relief initiatives. This role was recently assigned to UCSB's Center for Black Studies Research, one of the nation's leading centers for Haitian scholarship, which will now function as headquarters for system-wide relief initiatives. For more information, please visit


UCSB Briefs Housing Continuing Stude Housing & Residential Services is looking forward to welcoming students on Opening Weekend, September 18-19. Students who have completed a contract to live in university-owned residence halls should receive their room assignment and roommate letter in the mail in early September. In the meantime, they can visit the move-in website for important information, including move-in details for students observing Yom Kippur: Residence hall rules and policies are also accessible online at Note: Students who have completed a contract to live in university-owned apartments will receive move-in information and apartment/roommate assignments during the first week of September.

For continuing students, Housing & Residential Services offers vibrant continuing student communities-from singles, doubles, and triples to suite-style living in houses and residence halls. There are also educational programs specifically geared towards continuing students' academic and personal success. Housing has over 1100 spots for continuing students who still want the community lifestyle and conveniences of living on campus. Locations just steps from the beach and classes, no "roommate math" to divvy up bills, no first and last month's deposits, great living and dining facilities, and friendly staff provide an ideal environment for academic and social success.

UCSB Briefs Opening Weekend The Community Housing Office (CHO) is the campus center for advice and information on off-campus housing in the Isla Vista, Goleta, and Santa Barbara areas. CHO maintains an up-to-date online rental database with vacant and shared housing options and serves as a one-stop resource center where staff provide students with information on renter's rights and responsibilities, security deposits, leases, and more. CHO also offers a move-in/move-out videotaping service to aid in the return of students' deposits and facilitates mediation for students who find themselves in dispute with roommates or property providers. CHO is located on the third floor of the University Center and can be found online at For questions about community living, email or call (805) 893-4371.

Parents' & Family Weekend will be held on October 22, 23, and 24, 2010. This is an opportunity for parents and families of freshmen and transfer students to experience life at UCSB and visit their student for the first time after move-in. Guests will have the opportunity to attend classes, participate in faculty presentations, take part in campus area tours and activities, and meet a variety of UCSB faculty and administrators. For information and ongoing updates, please visit

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. UC Seal

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 stepmoms, stepdads, uncles, aunts, grandparents, siblings, friends and others who play a significant and supportive role in the lives and successes of UCSB undergraduates.

Editor: Candace Stevenson
Copy Editor: Debbie Fleming
Contributors: Britt Andreatta, Miles Ashlock, Cecilia Becerra, Elizabeth Downing, Regina Fletcher, Lupe Garcia, Laurie Hoyle
Design: Brenda Bernu Reheem

Office of the Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2036

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