I want to acknowledge the concerns, sorrow and grief that many of you may be experiencing as a result of the Southern California wildfires. The massive evacuations, extensive loss of property, disruption of daily life and in some cases, loss of life, have personally touched our community. Although we do not yet know the full extent of the damages that will result from this catastrophe, we know that many of you and many in our community have been and will be affected in some way. To support you during this time, I want to provide a brief summary of several of the resources that are available to students on the campus.
Support and assistance is available to any UCSC student who is experiencing stress as a result of the wildfires or other emotional challenges. Contact information is available at http://www2.ucsc.edu/counsel/ or students may call (831) 459-2628.
College and Housing Residential Staff:
UCSC has a very well trained, responsive and available residential staff. Many members of our residential staff have a background in advising and solid experiences in crisis response/crisis management. These staff members can provide assistance and advice on the resources available on campus. I have asked the staff at the Colleges to make direct contact with campus residents who are from the impacted Southern California counties to check-in with you directly about the impacts of the fires and assistance that you may need.
Emergency Financial Support:
Emergency short term loans of varying amounts are available to any registered student. Loan application forms are available at the Financial Aid Office (Hahn Student Services Building, room 205) or online at http://www2.ucsc.edu/fin-aid/emergency_loan.shtml These loans usually require repayment in 30 to 60 days and are interest free. The Financial Aid Office can also assist with federal student loan increases to your current loan amount for those that are eligible. These loans do not require repayment until after graduation. Financial Aid staff can be reached at (831) 459-2963.
If this catastrophic event impacts your studies, I encourage you to speak with your College Academic Advisor, Department Advisor or professors to understand the accommodations that might be made for you given your circumstances.
Volunteerism and Opportunities for Giving:
For those in our campus community that would like to provide support to residents directly impacted by the fires, the Student Volunteer Center web site ( http://www2.ucsc.edu/svc/) provides links to organizations that accept donations. Please continue to visit the Student Volunteer Center web site for information regarding other opportunities to participate in relief efforts.
In closing, I want to again extend my support to any student who may be impacted by the firestorms and encourage you to use the resources that are available through campus support services.