Friday, November 25, 2011

UCLA Chancellor and EVC Response to UC Davis Pepper Spray

     Office of the Chancellor
     Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To the Campus Community:

The images from events at UCB and UCD have shocked and troubled all of us on campus and across the system. Our hearts go out to the students, parents, faculty and staff at Berkeley and Davis during this trying time.

At UCLA, a small number of protesters identifying themselves as the Occupy UCLA movement established a camp last Thursday and were asked to disperse early Friday morning. They refused to disperse and preferred to be arrested. All the protesters that morning were peaceful and cooperative. The police worked with Student Affairs and the students to ensure that the process went forward smoothly and the encampment was removed without confrontation or injury. On Monday, after the actions at Davis, the protesters held a series of teach-ins, and decided to set up tents on the lawn in front of the Morgan Center. Under the circumstances and at the urging of faculty and the Senate leadership, we decided not to intervene. Today they have dismantled their tents on their own accord.

The peace and safety of the campus is a high concern for us, as is the freedom of expression. Our aim is to achieve both in a time when feelings are running extremely high. We have worked closely with Student Affairs, Legal Affairs, and UCLA PD to ensure that the campus adheres to our principles of community and that everyone acts with restraint, respect, and tolerance in all circumstances. The meeting of the Regents at UCLA this coming Monday may bring demonstrations, and we will work strenuously with all parties to ensure as far as we are able that they remain safe and peaceful. We have been in constant discussion with our students and campus leadership, and have stressed firmly that we all must act in a responsible manner that preserves the core values of the campus.

We are pleased that so far the UCLA community has managed to avoid the kinds of wrenching events that have torn our sister campuses. That we have done so is testimony to the civility and restraint shown by our students, faculty, police, and staff in difficult circumstances.

We will consult with the City Attorney next week concerning the charges against our students.

We wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Gene D. Block
Chancellor



Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

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