Associated Student Senators discussed the allocation of financial aid from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the distribution of wellness kits from the well-being collective, and pass/no pass options for the upcoming Fall Quarter during their weekly meeting on Wednesday, May 13.
UC San Diego received approximately $35 million through the CARES Act fund, $17.4 of which was dedicated to undergraduate and graduate financial aid. However, A.S. President Eleanor Grudin announced that most of the funds that UCSD had received for undergraduate and graduate financial aid have already been distributed.
“All of the CARES dollars, except for the graduate student money that haven’t been allocated yet, have been allocated and the CARES money is almost gone,” Grudin said during the meeting.
The UCSD administration has not provided much clarity about who would be eligible for these funds. The CARES Act financial aid was meant for students whose expected family contribution was lower than $1,000, comprising about 6,000 UCSD students. However, students who feel that their economic situations have changed due to the COVID-19 can still apply for basic needs grants, which include a special COVID-19 Relief Fund Request.
Grudin also shared that the Academic Senate is advocating for Fall Quarter to include pass/no pass as a default option for all academic departments. During Spring Quarter, each department chose whether to allow pass/no pass for students leaving some students confused. Grudin explained that having a universal default pass/no pass option, similar to UC Berkeley’s approach for Spring Semester, would ease some of the stress on students during the current pandemic. However, at the time of the publication of this article, the UCSD administration has not announced any modifications involving pass/no pass for Summer Session or Fall Quarter.
Additionally, Senator Nick Lee announced the distribution of wellness kits in collaboration with the Well-being Cluster. The kits will include band-aids, face masks, stress balls, and other items which will be distributed to 350 on-campus and 150 off-campus students. There will be an interest form for students, and the kits will be issued on a first-come first-serve basis. Lee also stated that he has hopes that this program will continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic to help with students’ well-being.
Artwork by Allyson Llacuna for the UCSD Guardian.