To UC Davis Campus Community,
I am writing to tell you about events
that occurred Friday afternoon at UC Davis relating to a group of
protestors who chose to set up an encampment on the quad Thursday as
part of a week of peaceful demonstrations on our campus that coincided
with many other occupy movements at universities throughout the country.
The group did not respond to requests from administration and
campus police to comply with campus rules that exist to protect the
health and safety of our campus community. The group was informed in
writing this morning that the encampment violated regulations designed
to protect the health and safety of students, staff and faculty. The
group was further informed that if they did not dismantle the
encampment, it would have to be removed.
Following our requests,
several of the group chose to dismantle their tents this afternoon and
we are grateful for their actions. However a number of protestors
refused our warning, offering us no option but to ask the police to
assist in their removal. We are saddened to report that during this
activity, 10 protestors were arrested and pepper spray was used. We will
be reviewing the details of the incident.
We appreciate and
strongly defend the rights of all our students, faculty and staff to
robust and respectful dialogue as a fundamental tenet of our great
academic institution. At the same time, we have a responsibility to our
entire campus community, including the parents who have entrusted their
students to us, to ensure that all can live, learn and work in a safe
and secure environment. We were aware that some of those involved in the
recent demonstrations on campus were not members of the UC Davis
community and this required us to be even more vigilant about the safety
of our students, faculty and staff. We take this responsibility very
While we have appreciated the peaceful and respectful
tone of the demonstrations during the week, the encampment raised
serious health and safety concerns, and the resources required to
supervise this encampment could not be sustained, especially in these
very tight economic times when our resources must support our core
We deeply regret that many of the protestors
today chose not to work with our campus staff and police to remove the
encampment as requested. We are even more saddened by the events that
subsequently transpired to facilitate their removal.
appreciate the substantive dialogue the students have begun here on
campus as part of this week.s activities, and we want to offer
appropriate opportunities to express opinions, advance the discussion
and suggest solutions as part of the time-honored university tradition.
We invite our entire campus community to consider the topics related to
the occupy movement you would like to discuss and we pledge to work with
you to develop a series of discussion forums throughout our campus.
I ask all members of the campus community for their support in ensuring
a safe environment for all members of our campus community. We hope you
will actively support us in accomplishing this objective.
Linda P.B. Katehi