Dear Graduate Students,
I have a very exciting announcement regarding a proposal that would change the future of graduate student housing at UCSB. Concern has grown over the past few years regarding the prohibitively high cost of housing for graduate students and the fact that San Clemente is no longer an exclusively graduate student community.
In response, I have been working closely with administration officials, and we have come up with an exciting potential solution to this very serious problem. The proposal is that we move the graduate student community from San Clemente to Santa Ynez, which will be reserved exclusively for graduate students. To be very clear, this is only a proposal and there would not be any changes in the 2015–2016 academic year. Numerous alternatives were extensively explored, including the possibility of decreasing rent in San Clemente or having the University subsidize graduate student housing, and those alternatives unfortunately were not feasible. This proposed solution seems like it is the most realistically implementable plan, which will yield the greatest benefit to the graduate student body.
In the near future, I will be sending out a survey to all graduate students so you can personally voice your support, ask any questions, and raise your concerns. A move like this simply cannot and should not be made without your input, and we want to hear what you think.
Making this move will yield numerous benefits:
- While San Clemente's apartments are currently priced at approximately 20% above market rates, rooms in Santa Ynez will be approximately 20% below market. The precise numbers have not yet been worked out, but essentially, rent for the rooms in Santa Ynez will be substantially less than rent in San Clemente.
- We are exploring the possibility of offering both single rooms and double rooms. If living in a double room, your rent would drop even farther below market.
- Making Santa Ynez a community solely consisting of graduate students will lead to the creation of a living environment that is more conducive to scholarship, academic exchange, and social engagement.
- As part of the current proposal, grad students would still be able to live in San Clemente if they want to. The crux of this proposal is that Santa Ynez would be reserved for graduate students at substantially lower rates than are available in San Clemente.
I will be sharing more information with you as it becomes available. I am sure you have lots of questions, and there are definitely many details that are still being worked out. Nevertheless, I thought it was time to share this very exciting news with you!
This opportunity to improve graduate student life could not have been possible without the very hard work of Graduate Division Dean Carol Genetti; Assistant Dean Christian Villasenor; Willie Brown, Executive Director of Housing and Residential Services; and Martin Shumaker, CFO of Housing and Residential Services. I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the graduate student body and myself, to thank them for the considerable amount of time that each of them has spent on this matter. We are grateful to each of you.
Again, I am sure that many of you have questions about this, but please be patient and as more information becomes available, I will share it with you immediately.
In the meantime, I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Zachary I. Rentz
Graduate Students Association
University of California, Santa Barbara