May 24, 2014

A Letter to the UC Santa Barbara Community

We are horrified and deeply saddened by the tragic events in Isla Vista last night. While the details are still unfolding, reports are that seven people were killed, including the perpetrator, and several more injured in an appalling act of senseless violence. We grieve for the precious lives lost, and we share in the heartbreak of their families, friends, and classmates.

This tragedy profoundly affects our entire university family. We have counselors on-site in Isla Vista and on our campus who are working with our students to provide services and support. Counselors can also be reached by phone at (805) 893-4411, 24 hours a day.

While the police investigation continues, we await answers to many important questions. The campus, along with the police and local authorities, will provide information as it becomes available. We are committed to keeping our community informed. We have set up a campus call center for community members and parents with questions, at (805) 893-3901.

On behalf of our university community, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to the campus police officers and Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies who acted quickly and courageously to protect our students and other Isla Vista residents and prevent an even greater tragedy from unfolding.

We are moved by the tremendous outpouring of sorrow and support from our community, including our faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees, the UC Office of the President and Regents, elected officials, and countless friends and colleagues around the world. We will continue to draw strength and comfort from each other in the difficult days ahead.

The flag on our campus will be at half-staff this week to honor those whose lives were so suddenly and tragically cut short. We will be in touch as we continue to respond to these events. Our UCSB family is in mourning.


Henry T. Yang