Dear Campus Community,
Yesterday, approximately one hundred members of the UC Merced community and others joined in a peaceful protest motivated by the recent troubling incident that occurred at the Chandelier Hookah Lounge this past weekend. Those of us who have seen the video clip showing a portion of the incident can surely understand the fear and trauma experienced by people who were there.
Our initial and continuing concern has been to provide support for students who were directly or indirectly affected. Additionally, we have been in contact with city officials, and they are aware of our concerns and desire for a comprehensive and impartial investigation of the event.
Many of the students in attendance are pillars of leadership in our campus community and have volunteered many hours in the local community, all in an effort to create positive social change. They have been exemplars of the values and commitment to community of our young campus.
We are proud of the current and past leadership of our Black Student Union. They worked thoughtfully and intentionally to coordinate a peaceful demonstration. Their perspective matters, and each of us should stand up against the excessive use of force and violence that too many people of color still experience. Each of us should work to advance the agenda of a safe community that supports all races, ethnicities, sexual and gender identities, and religious identities.
The work of our students is a continuation of the struggle that has been going on for decades, and that work must continue. Institutions of higher education have played an important role in this, and are called upon to continue that role. We are committed to UC Merced’s participation in this conversation, its responsibility to support its students, and its ability to help enact positive social change.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs