Dear Associated Students community,
I am writing to share my thoughts about where Associated Students is regarding the upcoming Spring Quarter 2020 and hope that this finds you well. Whether you participate as an elected or appointed leader, a student or career staff member, or a volunteer, you are part of the fabric of Associated Students’ work. Your participation in the department of Associated Students, has always been, and continues to be awe-inspiring. I want to begin by sending out a special thank you to all of our AS staff and the Executive Officers for their work during study week, finals and spring break in light of evolving campus decisions regarding COVID-19.
As many of you know, the University leadership, a COVID19 Response Working Group and Chancellor Dr. Henry T. Yang, shared major decisions in public correspondence on March 10th, 11th and March 14th and set a series of unprecedented changes for finals and for the Spring 2020 quarter. Additionally, the President of the University of California, the Governor of the State of California and the Federal Government have also been responsive to this international pandemic. See complete information at: https://chancellor.ucsb.edu/memos/2020-03-07-covid-19-response-update and https://www.as.ucsb.edu.
Associated Students is in the process of transitioning as much of our work that we can do to remote work in order to be compliant with the campus, system-wide, State of California and Federal directives. For example, advisors and supervisory staff are transitioning student work to remote work, where possible. Our AS administrative offices partially work remotely and partially in-person—and will remain closed to the public. The Department of Public Worms projects (the Edible Campus Student Farm and Urban Orchard), the AS Foodbank and KCSB-FM will transition to partial remote work and partial in-person work, for now. Slowing the spread of this new virus’ strength and its effect requires that we empower ourselves with accurate information, maintain a physical distance from each other, stay home, wash our hands thoroughly and often. If we follow this guidance, in addition to observe at least 6 ft of physical distance, and be only with people in your household we will be reducing the risk of its expansion into our community.
Given the fluidity and rapidly changing environment, our AS Web Development team has centralized all announcements on our homepage and website. They’ve also created an accessible way to update information for the entire department via a form on that same page. Please update information to be displayed at https://www.as.ucsb.edu
As new online or remote processes, meeting times for AS entities, for example, become instituted—we ask you to use this form to post information and relevant links on our homepage. Upcoming updates from all of our AS entities, the AS Senate, student leadership should be shared on our homepage. Know that administrative access to your AS accounts are all still active and viable—and will be transitioning to online access. We will soon post how to manage online requisitions for purchases, etc.
Although we all wish the upcoming Spring 2020 quarter was entirely different than it will be, we know that we can meet this challenge ASONE. We know that our collective sadness over the fact that we will not be able to host our planned events, smile, sing and work together in person is weighing on all of us. We know how strong and empowering collaborative work can be in our AS entities and student government, independent media, businesses and services. We know how rewarding it can be to advocate on behalf of and engage with communities that are marginalized, silenced or voiceless in one way or another. Completing the work that we began together this academic year means that we need to develop a new way, new methods that are physically distant, yet, mission driven. Our collective goal is to continue our department’s mission after this health crisis passes to continue to provide or participate in events and concerts, rallies and develop services by and for students.
Marisela Márquez, Ph.D.,
Executive Director, Associated Students