Dear Campus Community,
July 12th, 2017
On behalf of the Associated Students of the University of California, Merced, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of the Black Community in Merced.
As we continue to process the events that took place over this past weekend, we feel profound shock and bewilderment that such an incident would take place within the confines of our city, affecting not only our students, but also members of the larger Merced community. These challenges are not new to individuals of the Black Community who continue to be targets of the racially induced violence perpetrated by officers of the Merced Police Department — uniformed individuals that are supposed to protect and ensure our safety. It is disheartening and frustrating to find out that incidents of gross misconduct by Merced Police Officers directly affected a fellow student.
The excessive use of police force and racial bias targeted at people of color will not be tolerated.
Students from the Black Student Union at UC Merced and their allies have made a tremendous effort within the last few days to organize and mobilize in full support of those individuals and communities affected by the incident. We fully support their actions and will do everything in our power to assist and meet the demands of their organization while creating an environment on campus where individuals can take time to heal and process the situation at hand.
It can be overwhelming to deal with the stress and frustration of the events that have unfolded over the course of the past few days. There are a number of confidential resources that are available on campus, to all UC Merced students and staff and faculty members who may need to access them. These resources are listed below, along with other departments that you may reach out to in order to deal with the emotional impact of the incident.
As details emerge from the ongoing investigation, we will do our best to keep you updated so that you are aware of the situation and we will stay as transparent as possible. We will organize events and town halls detailing your rights as students and what to do should such incidents occur again. In the meantime, we will continue to collaborate with our Black Student Union at UC Merced to ensure that students feel safe again both on campus and in the community.
It is my hope that in such times of difficulty, we can come together and heal as a campus community by channeling our anger, frustration and sadness into strategically tangible action, not only to support one another, but also to prevent such incidents from taking place in the future.
As my work guides me to stand on the side of justice and accountability, I stand with members of the Black Community and will continue to fight until all charges are dropped.
President, Associated Students of UC Merced 2017-2018