UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang emailed the campus community on May 2 in response to the mounted encampments yesterday morning. 

An autonomous organization of student activists set up encampments on campus yesterday, aligning with the Popular University for Gaza demonstrations across campuses nationwide. 

Yesterday afternoon, an unpermitted rally took place, which caused some disturbance due mostly to noise. Yesterday morning, an unauthorized “encampment” was set up near North Hall, adjacent to classrooms and academic office buildings,” the email read. 

Yang said while the University is “monitoring these situations carefully,” administration is “willing to work with student groups that wish to protest … without disrupting or interfering with [UCSB’s] core educational research mission.” 

“We must ensure campus safety, and respect the right of everyone on campus to feel safe. Those violating laws and codes of conduct in unsanctioned, illegal, and disruptive activities, whether non-affiliates or members of our campus community, are subject to legal and disciplinary action,” the email read. 

Following the acknowledgment of “violence and suffering in the Middle East,” Yang reiterated maintaining the academic environment of UCSB with UCSB Commencement next month. 

Many students who were deprived of their high school graduation ceremonies by the pandemic four years ago are now looking forward to their UCSB Commencement and the culmination of their undergraduate education,” the email read. “We owe it to them to allow them to complete their studies in an environment that supports teaching and learning.” 

Yang’s message follows UC President Michael Drake’s statement in response to encampments across UC campuses, particularly UC Los Angeles . Drake expressed support for UCLA stating that “the encampment is unlawful and violates university policy.” 

“I fully support the campus in taking this step. The University of California must be as flexible as it can involving matters of free expression, including expression of viewpoints that some find deeply offensive,” the email read. 

“But when that expression blocks the ability of students to learn or to express their own viewpoints, when it meaningfully disrupts the functioning of the University, or when it threatens the safety of students, or anyone else, we must act,” the email continued. 

The Nexus will continue to report on this topic as more information becomes available.


Asumi Shuda
Asumi Shuda (they/them) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Shuda was the Deputy News Editor, Community Outreach News Editor for the 2022-23 school year and the 2021-22 school year and an Assistant News Editor during the 2020-21 school year. They can be reached at asumishuda@dailynexus.com or news@dailynexus.com.