February 26, 2014
TO THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
Dear Colleagues and Students:
Our campus community has been deeply shaken by the violent sexual assault on a UCSB student on our campus this past weekend, as well as other recent sexual assaults that have been reported in Isla Vista. These tragic incidents affect us all.
The safety and welfare of our students and our campus community is our highest priority. I have authorized an increase to our campus police force by five officers. We are taking other immediate steps to increase our existing security measures, including a systematic plan for installing additional lighting and security cameras, as well as increasing patrols of Community Service Officers (CSOs) and police on campus and in Isla Vista.
In response to the recent incidents, we have committed to immediately increasing staffing to support sexual assault prevention and our campus’s advocacy and counseling response for survivors of sexual violence.
Our campus police officers are working closely with the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department around the clock to investigate this crime. If you have information, if you feel threatened or concerned at any time, or if you see something suspicious, please do not hesitate to call 911 (emergency), our campus police (805-893-3446), or the Isla Vista Foot Patrol (805-681-4100).
Our CSO Escort Program provides courtesy escorts for our students and community members traveling on campus and in Isla Vista during nighttime hours. To request a CSO safety escort, simply call our Police Dispatch line at 805-893-2000. I encourage you to enter this number in your cell phone now, so that it will be readily accessible when you need it. Escorts can also be requested through the red emergency phones located all over campus.
Our campus prevention, education, and advocacy efforts are led by the Campus Advocacy Resource and Education (CARE) Program, housed in our Department of Women, Gender, and Sexual Equity. Students, faculty, and staff can access confidential advocates 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling the CARE Advocacy Line at 805-839-4613, or visiting http://wgse.sa.ucsb.edu/CARE. CARE also offers ongoing training for faculty, staff, and students about their services, bystander intervention, how to help a friend/student/loved one, and reporting options.
Sexual violence is not only a crime, but also a violation of our Student Code of Conduct, and survivors who wish to press University charges against a student perpetrator are assisted by the UCSB Office of Judicial Affairs. The Office of Judicial Affairs has trained investigators and a protocol for dealing with issues of sexual violence. They partner with CARE, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health, and UCPD to provide support for survivors.
I would like to thank our entire campus community – faculty, staff, and students – for the expressions of care and concern, and the collaborative actions to help make us a stronger, safer, and more supportive community. I would especially like to thank our students involved in this week’s Take Back the Night efforts for drawing attention to this important issue of sexual violence, as well as our Academic Senate Chair and Senate leadership, our A.S. student leaders, the editorial board of the Daily Nexus, our leaders and colleagues in Student Affairs, and so many others who are contributing to this effort.
I also extend our sincere thanks to Police Chief Dustin Olson, our UCSB Police Department, and the Sheriff’s Department for the extraordinary efforts being made to keep our campus and community safe.
Henry T. Yang