UCI administration privately apologized to student leadership following AGS’ and ASUCI’s joint letter released on Jan. 21. The joint letter claimed that the UCI administration did not consult with student leadership — despite stating otherwise — before proceeding with the re-opening of campus.
The New University spoke with ASUCI president Yoseph Ghazal, who released the letter with AGS president Connor Strobel.
Ghazal stated that Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Hal Stern personally called Ghazal and Strobel to apologize, explaining that there was “miscommunication amongst his team as to who was consulted” and that “[Stern] did not intend to be dishonest.”
“It wasn’t a public apology, but we did make sure to let people know that [the UCI] admin had apologized through the Senate meeting that day and social media,” Ghazal said.
Ghazal was appreciative of the apology but stressed the importance of action on behalf of the administration beyond their apology.
“It’s very rare for the administration to give personal apologies like that. I appreciate that [Stern] reached out to me personally and apologized,” Ghazal said. “However, to the majority of ASUCI and [me], our priority is action and not just an apology.”
Despite noting that student leadership “will not be a part of many major decision-making processes like [campus re-opening],” Ghazal explained that the UCI administration has “committed to letting [them] know of their decisions ahead of time so [they] can provide a student perspective and help with issues they may overlook in their decisions.”
“One thing that’s improved since [the apology] is [Strobel] and I occasionally are able to see emails and give input before they’re sent out to all students,” Ghazal said. “This is a rare thing, but this was not something done at all previously — granted, I had only been in office for two-three weeks at that point.”
Ghazal noted that during the spring quarter, the campus operations and most classes will be fully in-person, with classes only being virtual or hybrid if the professor has applied for it ahead of time. He encouraged any student to contact him with questions, comments and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chrissy Park is a Campus News Intern for the winter 2022 quarter. She can be reached at email@example.com.