SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - When the winter quarter began at the UC Santa Barbara, students were told classes would be remote for the first two weeks of January. Now they are being told their professors can extend remote classes for the rest of the month.
Students were told in a message from Chancellor Henry T. Yang that their instructors could decide to teach in person or online. The vast majority informed their students on Tuesday that they would continue holding their classes remotely.
One student said her professor took a poll of the students and has not let them know the outcome yet.
UCSB mechanical engineering major Ruben Rathje said his classes are remote.
"A big part of that is meeting new people, getting that hands-on experience, which we are not going to be able to get for a little bit," Rathje said. "Luckily athletics and all that is still open, I am able to work out and go to practice or do all that."
Parts of the recreation center, library and student housing and services remain open.
UCSB communications major Sam Hulan said, "It is somewhat of a blessing and a curse I don't mind online too much, but I wish they weren't extending it."
Another communication major Dario de Albergaria said, "It is just tough, you know, it has been a 2 year pandemic."
Graduate student Gaby Hinojose said studying school psychology is difficult online.
"I found out when Chancellor Yang said it was going to be 4 weeks instead of 2. I was sad but understand I don't feel safe going to class but I also miss that experience."
Campus pathways that are usually bustling with students walking and riding bicycles are now quiet.
All of the students are required to be vaccinated and most are trying to avoid getting the Omicron variant that has led to the remote start of 2022.
Older students said they got used to the online coursework last year, but they are anxious to return to a traditional university experience.
Students looking on the bright side said they have more time to enjoy the outdoors.
Plenty of students were catching waves and watching the sunset on Wednesday at Devereaux on West Campus.
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