The Dean of Students Office (DOS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recognizes that racism, bigotry, and inequities are deeply ingrained in every aspect of our nation and society, with our University being no exception. We wish to affirm our dedication to recognizing, addressing, and eradicating discrimination and oppression of any form on our campus and within our community. To truly maintain this commitment, we must first acknowledge the history of UC Santa Barbara and institutions of Higher Education.
Higher Education was not created with marginalized communities in mind. It was designed by and primarily intended to serve middle and upper class white, cishet men. The University of California was established over a 150 years ago to create an advanced college that had both STEM and liberal arts education. Former UC President Clark Kerr transformed the University of California with radical systemic reorganization plans to help propel the UC system into the public institution that it is today. In 1960, the California Master Plan for Higher Education was enacted, spearheaded by Kerr, which had the goal of balancing the "competing demands of fostering excellence and guaranteeing educational access for all". Since then, we’ve seen an increase in financial aid programs, educational opportunities for marginalized communities, and greater diversity among the student population.
Although we as a University and society have come a long way to remove the legal and cultural barriers that restricted opportunities for Higher Education, these foundations are still ingrained in our systems and have an impact on our communities. Here at the Dean of Students Office, we are working towards breaking down more of those exclusive barriers to entry at UC Santa Barbara.
Our three primary purposes of the Dean of Students Office include:
- Advocating for the perspectives and needs of every student as significant campus constituents
- Champion genuine inclusion of all students and their myriad of intersecting identities in our learning communities
- Encourage student involvement in order to foster civic engagement, leadership, and career success
To encourage and support diversity, the Dean of Students Office has various initiatives and resources for our students:
We strive to foster a safe and comfortable environment for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, disability, or any other identity. One tool to help us achieve this is our Bias Incident Report form and our Bias Incident Response Team. It is an unfortunate fact that some individuals are targeted based solely on others' ignorance and intolerance of different identities. If a hate crime or incident occurs, the Bias Incident Response Team serves at the campus reporting point and can work with the impacted parties in coordinating a response. You can find the report form, FAQs, and resources here or on our website under the 'Equity and Inclusion' tab.
We recognize that attending UCSB, like most institutions of higher learning, presents a significant and disproportionate financial burden on students (and their families). In order to ease that burden, we offer various memorial scholarships, which you can find here.
Voting is integral to the health and prosperity of our local, state, and national communities. Voting in all elections gives people a voice and a sense of empowerment and allows community members to elect officials that will better represent them and their needs. We work hard during the weeks leading up to each election to get students on our campus registered to align with our goal of promoting civic responsibility. Please visit our Voter Registration tab under the Units & Initiatives or click here to get registered.
One of our top priorities is to provide our students with the necessary resources to succeed here at UCSB. The Global Food Initiative: Food and Housing Security at the University of California, a study conducted by the UC in 2016, found that 44% of undergraduates and 26% of graduate students were food insecure, and 5% of undergraduate and graduate students had experienced homelessness at some point during their time enrolled. Food and housing insecurity has been linked to lower graduation rates for both bachelors and graduate degrees and was found to be more prevalent among older, non-White, first-generation students (Wolfson et al., 2022). While the university has many food and housing resources for students, they can sometimes be challenging to find, which is why the DOS office compiled a list of them for easy access.
Along with food and housing insecurity resources, the DOS office and campus partners have compiled various resources that cover topics such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, citizen status, and more to make it easier for students to educate themselves. Those resources can be found under the 'Grow' tab in our website's 'Equity and Inclusion'.
Finally, there are some incredible resources offered in our many departments. The DOS office will work with these various departments (the MCC, CARE, RCSGD, SEAL, WGSE) to better advertise the various educational programs offered.
We recognize that there is still much to be done to make UCSB an inclusive environment for all and that combating bigotry of all forms is life-long work. The resources and initiatives mentioned above are only the beginning. As the Dean of Students Office, we commit to reviewing this document every year and revising it, considering various campus stakeholders' voices and perspectives, as well as campus culture and climate. To better support our student body, we commit to holding ourselves and others accountable, continuing our learning and unlearning, amplifying marginalized community voices, and engaging stakeholders of the university to better reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We promise to be open and transparent about our efforts to dismantle exclusionary practices at this institution. The Dean of Students Office welcomes feedback, questions, and concerns. Please reach out to email@example.com.