All events hosted by the UCR Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) have been canceled until further notice according to a post published on ASPB’s Instagram page on Monday, March 16. The cancellation comes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and UCR’s campus closure.
The post states, “In line with Chancellor Wilcox’s and Governor Newsom’s state recommendations, it is with a heavy heart that we announce spring events are cancelled until further notice. ASPB’s priority will always be the safety of the UCR community. Thank you for all your patience. We wish you all a safe and healthy spring break!”
In an email interview with The Highlander, ASPB Chairperson Judy Tu stated that ASPB received news about the campus closure at the same time all students did. She wrote, “We knew immediately this would impact our events and needed to strategize. During finals week, we received updated news from the Chancellor that all Spring events were canceled/postponed until further notice so we unfortunately had to make the decision to cancel all spring events and announced it on our social media platforms during spring break.”
Many students addressed frustration with the cancellation of all spring events in the comments of ASPB’s Instagram post. One student commented, “It is immoral for the UC to not give us our money back on things we no longer have access to. There are thousands of us who have lost jobs and are unemployed due to circumstances. Give us a refund,” while another commented, “Are we going to be refunded the fees that paid for all of that?”
In response, ASPB commented on the post stating, “ASPB would like to note that as a fully student ran board, we heard all of your concerns and share the same questions! At this time, ASPB is working very hard with the university and state requests and are brainstorming ways to enhance future events and even provide virtual experience in Spring. We’re all in this together!”
Tu told The Highlander that ASPB completely understands students’ concerns and frustrations and takes every bit of it seriously. “As someone who comes from a low income family and relies on my campus jobs for income, it’s truly upsetting. Unfortunately, these types of decisions come from not only upper administration at UCR but also from UCOP (Office of the President) and not from ASPB,” stated Tu. She went on to state that these decisions are out of ASPB’s control. She stated that as a fully run student organization, ASPB understands and shares the same concerns and frustrations as the student body.
In regards to how ASPB will navigate the funds that were intended to be allocated toward spring events hosted by ASPB, Tu stated, “We are definitely looking into and interested in putting our funds towards events next year, especially Block Party 2020.”
Tu went on to state that safety is ASPB’s top priority and that they would not want to put the UCR student body’s health at risk in any shape or form. She stated that ASPB wants to continue providing the student body with virtual experiences to bring vibrancy to the UCR experience, especially at this time. “We are extremely aware of the impact this has on students and our team is working tirelessly to figure out what we can do to continue providing unique experiences to our students. This definitely is not an ideal situation but we want to make the most out of it with the resources we have,” stated Tu.
Tu concluded the interview asking that students please stay safe during this time. She stated, “This is a very scary situation, but we have the power to mitigate it by practicing social distancing and making healthy decisions. We hope that you all understand where we are coming from. Thank you for your support and understanding.”