November 22, 2016


SUBJECT:    A Message from Vice Chancellor Petitt

Dear Campus Community:

Over the last few months I have written about the importance of engaging our Principles of Community. I write again today in light of recent incidents occurring on our campus following a particularly acrimonious election season. I am concerned about the number of our campus community members who have reported that they have experienced or fear the increased likelihood of identity-based intimidation on our campus.

The day after the election, our campus was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti near one of our campus bus stops. The graffiti was removed immediately after it was reported and the incident is being investigated by the UC San Diego Police Department. If you have information about this incident, please contact our campus Police Department. For a second time, anti-immigrant chalking appeared on campus and in front of the Raza Resource Centro. Students responded to the chalking with educational programming. I thank the student leaders for adhering to and engaging UC San Diego’s Principles of Community through their response.

Incidents such as these create feelings of vulnerability and fear in an environment where we should feel a sense of belonging. A climate of fear negatively impacts our ability to learn, teach, and work. Though we cannot control the uncaring actions occurring in the larger world around us, we can control our actions by not allowing the divisiveness of the recent campaign to define us. To members of our campus community who may feel fear or uncertainty at this moment in time, I remind you: You belong here. You matter. Your dignity matters. And you are loved. At UC San Diego, we are unwavering in our commitment to create and maintain a welcoming and vibrant teaching and learning environment.

On behalf of the UC San Diego Administration, I condemn, in the strongest terms, what appears to be attempts to create an atmosphere of intimidation and fear among members of our campus community. I reaffirm our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion and encourage our community of scholars to exemplify our academic mission of engaging difficult issues intellectually and remaining open to hearing and learning from differing perspectives.

In closing, I share with the campus community that on November 15, President Napolitano established a “Working Group in Support of Undocumented Students at the University of California.” The group is charged to explore and provide council regarding UC’s response to any potential changes to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). And on November 17, Chancellor Khosla joined a number of our fellow Association of American Universities (AAU) peers as signatory of a strong public statement in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Join me in focusing on a future that leads to our collective wellbeing.

Relevant resources accompany this communication.


Becky Petitt
Vice Chancellor for
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

President Janet Napolitano and the Chancellors of the University of California Post-election Statement

University of California Principles Against Intolerance

Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination

UC San Diego Police

Resources for Teaching Faculty
Teaching in Response to the Election, Vanderbilt University
Returning to the Classroom after the Election, University of Michigan

Leaders for Equity Advancement and Diversity (LEAD) Fellows engage and facilitate crucial conversations

Mediation Training and Services for Faculty. Coming soon. For more information, contact our Office for Faculty Excellence and Diversity.