This Thanksgiving, Strengthen the Ties of Compassion
Following the election, Chancellor Block reiterates UCLA’s commitment to the safety and well-being of the entire campus community.
For many of us, the Thanksgiving break will be a welcome respite – a time to reconnect with loved ones and share the joy of family. But right now, many in our community feel anxious rather than festive. In the days since the presidential election, we have heard reports of harassment and violence throughout the nation, including at many college campuses.
I want to reiterate UCLA’s commitment to the safety and well-being of our entire UCLA community. And I want to emphasize what Interim Vice Chancellor Monroe Gorden communicated in his email this morning: If you experience harassing or threatening behavior, I urge you to use the resources we provide, including the Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of the Dean of Students, CAPS and the UCLA Police Department.
The incidents that have been reported around the country so far have primarily targeted African-Americans, Latinos, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, women and LGBT people. We have been fortunate not to see extreme incidents at UCLA. But wherever this behavior happens, it both offends our True Bruin values and betrays the truest of America’s principles. Communities thrive best when we understand each other’s hopes and have empathy for each other’s fears. Regardless of your political beliefs or your views about the election, please reach out to and support any fellow Bruin who is feeling vulnerable.
As we approach the holiday season, I want to reaffirm that you are part of a community that values you as individuals, honors your varied backgrounds and wants you to be healthy and successful. I am thankful that we at UCLA have built a diverse community of scholars and thinkers who are committed to facts, ideas and understanding, to working together and learning from each other, and to jointly thinking through our hardest problems and cooperatively searching for the best solutions. I am also well aware that communities can be fragile and that, especially in stressful times, we must be courageous enough to strengthen the ties of compassion and goodwill that bind us to one another.
I hope that the holiday break affords you the opportunity to reflect on what matters to you, the aspirations that give you purpose, the principles that give you guidance and the relationships that give you joy. I wish you the strength and resilience to stay true to your deepest values and highest ideals. Keep working together to shape the future you want for your loved ones, your friends and yourselves. Be confident that your efforts to create the world you want will pay off in time. And be good to one another.