It is with great sadness that I write my second blog on the heels of the recent events on campus. And although the tragic events have dealt the campus a huge blow, I was heartened by the outpouring of support from our entire campus and indeed from all our friends across the UC system and the rest of the country.
As in many previous cases across the country, we are also struggling with trying to understand how and why this happened. At this point, however, there are still active investigations going on, so there is no new information I can add to the Chancellor's many message. And it may take some time for the investigations to be completed, so we will need to be patient and await the findings of those investigations.
What is important to reiterate is that the campus is safe and that counseling services are available to all students, faculty, and staff who may desire it. As you may know, Natural Sciences held several sessions to discuss the events and I appreciated hearing from you and just being able to share your thoughts and concerns.
You may also have heard reports from various news sources with sometimes exaggerated claims. In response, I would point to our Principles of Community and in particular: We affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person while cultivating a campus climate rooted in mutual respect and compassion. As the Chancellor recently stated, “Voices of hate and intolerance have no place in the UC Merced community”.
Finally, I would encourage us to focus on helping each other through this time, and on our work to support the teaching and research missions of the university. We have built a wonderfully supportive and inclusive team in Natural Sciences – let us continue to embody those ideals.