Giving thanks as the holidays near

To: UC Santa Cruz community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive


As the holiday season approaches, I want to extend my very best wishes to all in our campus community.

To our students, I am thankful for your patience, optimism and resolve over the past eight months. Remote instruction can be trying, and it’s not what any of us envisioned our future would hold when the holidays descended upon us a year ago. But you have shown us all that Banana Slugs are not easily daunted. We have found new ways to create community. We are a special university, and it’s the people, not just the place, who make it special.

To our staff and faculty, I am deeply grateful for the work you do, and have done throughout 2020, keeping our university operation humming along in the face of significant obstacles. It is no small feat to teach our thousands of students, to house and feed hundreds of them daily, and to maintain a rigorous research operation, all while battling a global pandemic. Yet that is exactly what we have done, and I want to say thanks to all of you for your hard work and resilience.

I offer special thanks to our essential workers — our housing and dining staffers, our Student Health Center workers, our campus police officers, our bus drivers and custodians, to name just a few. Your work is seen by far fewer people right now, but your efforts are deeply appreciated by me and so many others.

I am also thankful that our campus COVID-19 case numbers have remained relatively low. That tells me that our campus community members have prioritized the well-being of others. I am buoyed by that. While it looks as if a vaccine will soon be available, caseloads are again spiking across the country. We must not let our optimism overtake our vigilance.

For so many of us, the holidays are a time when families and friends come together. This year poses an obvious challenge in that regard. It will be hard for families, particularly those spread over a great distance, to assemble. And even those who are nearby may be hesitant to gather in the ways they have previously. This past week, our county’s COVID status was moved back to purple, which is the most restrictive tier. Much of California faces similar restrictions.

Now is a good time to re-evaluate our plans for gathering with loved ones. Please read the campus message on holiday travel. Remember that every choice we make will have impacts on our family and friends, including those on campus.

Wishing you all a restful and restorative fall-quarter recess.