Dear Campus Community,
This past week I have been away from campus on vacation to be with family. We were together for a wedding. Our gathering was jubilant, a time to celebrate love, one of the feelings that defines humanity.
In contrast, the first reports of Hamas attacking music festival attendees in Israel were horrifying. The details have only worsened as days pass and images of the inexcusable terrorist destruction surface. We are now facing a humanitarian crisis for millions of innocent civilians.
As one spokesperson for a diverse campus, I generally don’t voice an opinion where matters of foreign conflicts are concerned. My primary role is to ensure we are achieving UC Riverside’s mission and progressing as an institution in ways that support our region and state.
Though I sometimes issue statements in response to events that impact the psyche of our campus, there is a much longer list of events for which we intentionally avoid comment – as I don’t believe it’s my place to publicly opine on every global tragedy or crisis.
But as the crisis in Israel and Gaza continues, I am compelled to affirm that UC Riverside stands against the killing of innocents. We are on the side of reason, understanding, justice, and hope.
And while there is a place for debates on our campus on complex and sensitive topics such as Middle East politics, any conduct that violates our Principles of Community and perpetuates violence or discrimination will not be tolerated.
As stated in the message from Provost Watkins earlier this week, please utilize the resources available to students and employees if you need help processing recent events.
I also encourage department leaders in Student Affairs, International Affairs, colleges and schools, and Human Resources to reach out to students and employees who may be directly affected by such matters. In the coming days, I hope all on campus will approach one another with compassion and an appreciation for our shared humanity.
I also would like to share a statement from University of California President Michael Drake and Chair of the Board of Regents Richard Leib.