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An update from Chancellor Leland

November 10, 2015

Dear Campus Community/UC Merced families,

I am writing to share the latest developments in the investigation that were released today by the FBI and the steps that our community is taking to recover and heal.

Our campus responded to the events of last week with compassion, concern and respect for everyone in this wonderfully diverse campus community and of that I am very proud. Your continued safety is my highest concern, and I am grateful that the FBI has confirmed that they are not aware of any additional threats to the UC Merced campus.  

I would like to thank in particular UC Merced Chief of Police Albert Vasquez and his team for their tireless efforts to keep our campus safe, and their work in the ongoing investigations.

I also would like to thank our team of counselors from across the UC system who are helping students, staff and faculty members cope during this difficult time. Counselors continue to be available for all campus community members who are in need of extra support. We have group and individual appointments available, as well as group outreach meetings, on the second floor of the Student Activities and Athletics Center (SAAC). Please see the full schedule.

For family members outside the Merced area who want information on responding to a campus tragedy, understanding grief or hints for self-care, online resources are available here.

And, finally, I’d like to thank all of you. As many of you know, last Friday began the first campus collective opportunity to heal as some 2,000 members of the community joined in a symbolic candlelight walk to reclaim Scholars Lane Bridge, an important link at the heart of our campus. The strength, resilience and compassion of our Bobcat community were on full display that evening and will continue to buoy us all as we take our next steps toward recovery.

Voices of hate and intolerance have no place in our community. We need to surround each other with love and compassion, and work together on our healing process. While the work ahead of us will not be easy, I am confident we will carry on while caring for each other and staying true to our values of acceptance, diversity and inclusion.

Sincerely,

Dorothy Leland, Chancellor

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