May 25, 2014
A Letter to the UC Santa Barbara Community
It is with a heavy heart that I am writing again to share more sad news. Yesterday we were informed that three of our students, Katherine Cooper (senior), Christopher Martinez (junior), and Veronika Weiss (sophomore) were among those killed during the tragic events on Friday night. Today the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office released the names of the remaining victims and they are also members of our community. They are George Chen and W. Wang, both juniors in the College of Engineering. The parents of the third student have requested that we only use his initials, C.H.
Our sense of loss is immeasurable. We are offering our full support to their families, and our thoughts and prayers are with them. In the coming days we will also explore with the families how we may best honor their memories. We have established a fund, The UC Santa Barbara Community Fund, to honor our students who were victims of this tragedy and to memorialize their lasting impact and contributions to the UC Santa Barbara community.
The number of reported injuries has been revised to 13. Nine of those taken to the hospital were UC Santa Barbara students. We have been informed that six of these nine students have already been released and one is expected to be released tomorrow. We fervently wish all the injured a full recovery.
The safety and welfare of our students is our top priority. We have counselors available today and tomorrow at our Student Resource Building from 9 am to 8 pm and by phone at 805-893- 4411 around the clock. With support from the UCLA and UC Irvine police departments, we have also increased police patrols in Isla Vista and on campus. In addition, our CSO Escort Program provides courtesy escorts for our students and community members traveling on campus and in Isla Vista at any time. To request a CSO safety escort, simply call our Police Dispatch line at 805- 893-2000. I encourage every student 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.
I am moved by the love and support demonstrated by our community, especially during these difficult times. Dilling and I were honored to join our students for last night’s candlelight vigil, the first of what I anticipate will be many events to honor the victims and to come together as a community. We are planning a campus memorial service, and will send another communication later today with additional information and other updates.
Henry T. Yang