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Students prepare for online classes during fall quarter at UCSB

Students prepare for remote learning at UCSB following COVID-19 spike in Isla Vista
Tracy Lehr / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - When the carillon bells ring at UCSB, few students are on campus to hear them.

Fall quarter instruction doesn't start until October 1, but that isn't why the campus is empty.

Chancellor Henry Yang has asked students not to visit campus if they don't have a reason to be on campus.

On Friday, Yang announced plans to move to remote instruction for the fall quarter to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Some international students are impacted, too.

Many wore masks during the winter quarter while their parents in China were under quarantine.

Now all students are being asked to stay home and study online if possible.

UCSB will limit housing to students with special circumstances and refund others who had planned to live in dorms.

Like other University of California campuses the faculty had been preparing for the possibility of in-person classes before plans changed.

Plans to mitigate the spread of the virus included testing.

The decision to move toward remote instruction was made as UCSB leaders learned of a coronavirus spike in Isla Vista where many students are already living.

A fifth-year chemical engineering major said he understands the decision.

He said he has noticed people in Isla Vista hosting parties without masks.

He said the area is pretty busy even though the quarter is a month away.

Other students said they are living with a group of people in a house with rules to prevent the spread of the virus.

They want to create a bubble with their roommates that will allow them to learn online without be isolated.

Chancellor Yang said, "We know our decision for fall may be a great disappointment for our students who had hoped to return to our beautiful campus next month, and especially for our incoming first-year and transfer students looking forward to an exciting beginning at UC Santa Barbara."

Instead of welcoming them during a convocation ceremony on the Faculty Green overlooking the lagoon, they will be welcomed during a virtual New Student Convocation on Sept. 29

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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