Elevating the Conversation

Campus ClimateCampus Update

Chancellor Block sent the following message to the UCLA campus community.

Welcome back, Bruins! I am thrilled to begin a new year of learning and exploring together at the nation’s number one public university. I’m sure this will be a year of discovery and growth, and I hope you will use UCLA’s many resources to support you on your journey.

As you are delving into new classes, projects and friendships, our nation will hold its midterm elections. I encourage all who are eligible to register to vote, if you have not already, and make your voice heard.

I urge all of you to think about how you can shape important conversations nationally and at UCLA. Too often our political discourse seems to be dominated — even distorted — by the loudest and most inflammatory speech. In that climate, facts are discarded, common interest is abandoned and we lose sight of each other’s humanity. We can — and must — do better. At UCLA, we value the search for understanding, careful contemplation and cooperation among diverse groups to accomplish great things. In contentious times, holding on to those values can be challenging, but today it is more important than ever.

In debating the issues of the day, use the most reliable data to make the best argument. Even in hard discussions, respect the rights and dignity of others, just as you want them to respect yours. Avoid insults, stereotypes and ethnic bias. Remember our True Bruin Values and observe our Code of Conduct.

Be mindful that what we do and say today — especially online — can live on and have repercussions for the rest of our lives. Differentiate between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. Honestly question if your intention is to truly engage or to merely enrage. You have the power of free speech and access to some of the most advanced communication tools ever devised. Use them wisely.

As members of the Bruin community, we should all be committed to each other’s well-being. Communities thrive best when we all remember that passion must walk hand in hand with compassion.

  • Gene D. BlockChancellor