The UC Office of the President and all 10 UC chancellors, including UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang, issued a statement on intolerance of campus bigotry to the UC community on Nov. 10.
The statement follows UC-wide campus discourse and movements in response to the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip following an Oct. 7 attack on Israel by militant group Hamas and subsequent attacks on Palestine by Israel. The Health Ministry in Gaza has reported the death toll in the Gaza Strip as over 11,000 as of Nov. 13, with 2,700 people reported missing.
“We write today to condemn the alarming, profoundly disappointing acts of bigotry, intolerance, and intimidation we have seen on our campuses over these past several weeks,” the statement read.
“Some of the rhetoric we have seen and heard over the past month at campus protests, online, in student government meetings, and in classrooms has been shocking and abhorrent,” the statement continued. “Let us be clear: There is no place for hate, bigotry, or intimidation at the University of California. Period.”
The statement condemned antisemitism and Islamophobia.
“Antisemitism is antithetical to our values and our campus codes of conduct and is unacceptable under our principles of community. It will not be tolerated,” the statement read.
“Similarly, Islamophobia is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” the statement continued. “We will work to ensure that those who advocate on behalf of Palestinians can also be confident of their physical safety on our campuses.”
The statement said that while it is the UC’s obligation to uphold the First Amendment and not censor voices, violations of free speech laws and policies exist and have consequences. The statement referred to Regents Policy 4403: Statement of Principles Against Intolerance, which outlines guidelines around free speech and discourse on UC campuses as well as consequences on discrimination and actions that violate UC policy.
“Our campuses have and will continue to impose consequences on behavior that crosses the line into unprotected speech, such as persistent harassment of individuals or groups, or credible threats of physical violence,” the statement read. “Our educators must continue to provide a supportive and welcoming environment for all students and avoid using classroom time for improper political indoctrination.”
The statement said that UC President Michael V. Drake will soon announce a series of initiatives to address campus climate and provide support for the UC community to “improve the public discourse on this issue.”
“Members of the UC community may have differing opinions on the Middle East conflict, but our stand on intolerance and intimidation in our own community is unequivocal: We will not stand for it, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that the University of California is a safe community for all,” the statement read.
A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the Nov 16, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.