January 7, 2021
Dear Members of Our Campus Community,
We were shocked and dismayed by the violent events at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. The images, particularly those of a Confederate flag being paraded through the halls of our Capitol, were appalling and disturbing. We share in our country’s outrage and stand in solidarity against the actions of those who would threaten our democratic institutions, our Constitution, and the rule of law.
As a campus community, we believe that we must work together as a community and a country to protect the ideals of free speech and peaceful protest, but to also have no tolerance for violence and disregard of our laws and our values.
I would like to share with you the statement issued by UC President Michael Drake today:
“The orderly transfer of power has been a hallmark of our American democracy for more than two centuries. The shocking display of lawless violence in the nation’s capital on January 6 was an horrific, and ultimately tragic, affront to our national dignity. The University of California cherishes the free speech right of the people ‘peaceably to assemble’ to share their grievances. But that is not what occurred in Washington, D.C., yesterday. We must stand together - regardless of political party or point of view - to uphold, protect and defend our bedrock values.”
UC Santa Barbara will uphold our principles of community and work together to advance our university’s mission, which values treating each other with respect when we disagree. We will speak up against violent acts that threaten our country and our community.
While deeply concerning, these events are a reminder of how important it is for us to commit to our ideals and to take care of our community. The strength of our democracy will prevail. Our campus community is resilient and we will not be divided – we will work together to advance our excellence, our diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Henry T. Yang