Addressing "Zoombombing"

April 3, 2020
Brian Haynes, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and Mariam Lam, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer
April 3, 2020

Dear Campus Community,
 
We are writing to inform all students that we are taking immediate action to protect our classes from what is called “Zoombombing,” which, unfortunately, is taking place in organizations around the world, including our own campus. 
 
Online Zoom classes and other community virtual spaces have been disrupted by both people who hack into these spaces from outside the campus, as well as people who exist within these spaces, who use racist, sexist, homophobic, ablist, and other vile discriminatory language that interrupts our learning experience and social psychological wellbeing. 
 
We are deeply saddened whenever our students and faculty have to witness such despicable acts anywhere on campus, but particularly in this virtual classroom space that is so new to many in our community. You have all worked tirelessly to successfully make the transition to remote learning and have done so quickly to maintain our students’ academic progress.
 
We thank the wonderful faculty, students, and staff who have already skillfully and immediately disabled such presence in real time as it occurs. We have been working diligently with faculty on remote learning issues, and will inform instructors with any new protocols to prevent this type of disruption and disturbance while attending classes online. We will also be vigilant in determining who was responsible for these actions and applying appropriate disciplinary action.
 
XCITE is working to update teaching and student resources on the keepteaching.ucr.edu and keeplearning.ucr.edu sites as well as provide faculty, instructors, and TAs with tools to keep unwanted users out of the virtual classroom environment. 
 
However, we know that across campuses, including our own, these actions are not limited to hackers and occasionally come from within the student population.
 
If you come across this type of conduct in a virtual classroom, please refer it immediately to Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs (conduct@ucr.edu).
 
Even in a remote environment we have a shared responsibility to retain our full commitment to UCR’s Principles of Community. Please take the time to review the UC’s Principles of Equity and Inclusion during COVID-19, available here

Thank you for your continued support, patience, and collaboration during such a disruptive time in our community. 
 
Sincerely,

Brian Haynes,
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
 
Mariam Lam,
Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer