February 26, 2024

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

We are writing to provide an update about our efforts to improve climate and community on our campus. Since our “Principles of Community” memo on October 26, 2023, our campus has sought to deal with complex and difficult issues related to the ongoing violence in the Middle East. We appreciate the efforts of many of our faculty, students, and staff to fulfill our responsibility to educate, enlighten, and deal with disagreement with respect and sensitivity, despite some conflict and controversy.

We were distressed to learn of incidents over the weekend that included offensive social media messages and signage at the MultiCultural Center entrance. Campus offices are reviewing these unauthorized and unofficial messages. The signage has been removed and campus is conducting a bias incident review based on potential discrimination related to protected categories that include religion, citizenship, and national or ethnic origin. The posting of such messages is a violation of our principles of community and inclusion.

We call everyone’s attention to the new UC Presidential Policy on Anti-Discrimination, which was effective on February 20, 2024, and can be found online on the UCOP Policies webpage located here. The new policy covers Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation by and against students, employees, and third parties on University property or in connection with University employment or programs or activities.

Prohibited Conduct under the Policy based on national or ethnic origin or ancestry extends to individuals who experience Discrimination or Harassment based on their actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, or citizenship or residency in a country with a dominant religion or distinct religious identity. This includes, for example, antisemitic, anti-Arab, and Islamophobic Discrimination or Harassment. Some of these forms of Discrimination or Harassment may also represent Prohibited Conduct based on other Protected Categories covered by this Policy, including based on religion. The policy includes strong protections for freedom of speech and academic freedom.

We strive to create opportunities for civil dialogue, free from bullying and discrimination, that allow all community members to have their voices heard, and to have a space in which to respectfully express their views. To ensure that we uphold our community values and principles, the campus is committed to thoroughly reviewing and addressing all reported bias incidents. 

UC President Drake has announced one-time funding to help UC campuses address and combat antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of bias, bigotry, and discrimination at the University. The intention is to contribute to our mutual aim of safe, inclusive, and respectful environments at all campuses. Funding will address emergency mental health and trauma support for students, faculty, and staff; voluntary, extracurricular educational programming; and training and professional development for leaders, faculty, and staff. We are consulting widely about these programs and we will be in touch as plans are developed.

The Division of Student Affairs has posted reminders about campus rules and expectations for students, as well as campus safety and support resources. Faculty and staff with needs and concerns can contact the Academic & Staff Assistance Program, the Ombuds Office, or the University of California Ethics & Compliance Program. Information about reporting bias incidents can be found here.

We hope for an end to the violence in the Middle East. We call upon all members of our community to treat each other with respect, care, and sensitivity. Thank you.


Henry T. Yang

David Marshall
Executive Vice Chancellor

Margaret Klawunn
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Jeffrey Stewart
Interim Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion