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The academic year began Thursday at UC San Diego for about 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The class includes around 4,900 incoming freshmen, 91 percent of whom live on campus, and about 2,400 transfer students, according to UCSD.

New on campus this year is a dining hall at Revelle College called 64 Degrees, which was named for the year the university’s first undergraduates began their studies and the average ocean temperature off the coast of La Jolla, and a campus-sanctioned graffiti art project at the student center.

The project, called the “Graffiti Art Park,” will officially open Oct. 13.

Also this fall, construction crews will begin work on a food pantry at the student center that will provide students with free non-perishable food. University officials said the pantry is expected to be up and running by this winter.

“As cost of living and college expenses increase, some students are faced with difficult decisions as to how their money will be allocated,” interim University Centers Director Sharon Van Bruggen said. “Establishing a food pantry on campus will provide needed relief to students who may not have nutritious and varied food options on a daily basis. It will help ensure the academic success to students of all backgrounds.”

UCSD also has a new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Juan Gonzalez. Gonzalez was previously the Vice President for Student Affairs at University of Texas at Austin, according to UC San Diego.

“UC San Diego is a world-class university and holding this position is a wonderful opportunity to be of service to some of the country’s most talented and dynamic students,” Gonzalez said. “Students are the foundation of all universities, and I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to this campus’s goal of being a student-centered university.”

University officials said Gonzalez has outlined several goals for his tenure at UC San Diego, including partnering with other agencies in the campus community to address student health and well-being, retention and academic success.

—City News Service