The following communication was sent to registered student organizations (RSOs) at UC Berkeley on October 10, 2023:
Dear members of UC Berkeley’s student organizations,
As you are undoubtedly aware, with the crises taking place in the Middle East, we have members of our Berkeley community who have personal connections to the region, including familial, religious, ethnic, national, academic, and ideological. We mourn the loss of all life, and we also want to ensure members of our campus community feel safe and supported during this time.
Community and Respect
We realize that this conflict impacts many students, staff, and faculty, and can engender powerful emotions and reactions. We urge everyone to review and respect our essential Principles of Community. Please know that the campus is committed to our values of belonging, inclusion, and diversity. The campus is also committed to freedom of speech and UC Berkeley, as a public institution, cannot ban expression based on its content or viewpoints.
Our hope is that all members of our community can express their viewpoints in a safe and respectful manner, even with those with whom we disagree. We ask that you approach and treat each other with compassion, empathy, grace, and patience in this distressing time.
Dealing with Threats and Harassment
The safety and well-being of our students is of paramount importance. We understand that some students have reported harassment, occurring verbally and through online platforms. Our campus has zero tolerance for abusive behavior. Harassment is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and students found responsible for harassment will be held accountable. There are several resources you may consider if you’ve been the target of harassment.
- Death threats / threats of physical harm: Remember, you can and should contact law enforcement directly if you experience physical harm, direct threats, or emergency situations. If you need help, dial 911 or use a blue light emergency phone (identified by a blue light on top of the phone box or column).
- Reporting – Other reporting options include:
- For information and support on reporting hate crimes or hate-motivated acts: stophate.berkeley.edu.
- Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination: OPHD, (510) 643-7985, responds to and resolves reports of protected category discrimination and harassment (including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services), as well as sexual violence/sexual harassment involving students, staff, faculty, and visitors. This may include violence and also harassment such as online or virtual harassment (including “doxxing” or “trolling”), and physical or online stalking behaviors, if the respondent can be identified and is part of the UCB community. OPHD can help you understand your rights, options, and resources, including campus and community support, and offers informal and formal resolution pathways.
- Online harassment: The Berkeley Information Security Office also offers resources to prevent and respond to online harassment. You can also help protect yourself (and your student org) against doxxing by:
- Adjusting your personal social media settings to be private and removing anything that can identify your personal address or contact information. For your student org, consider a general email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Google Form (you can require a berkeley.edu address for all submissions) and have people contact you to request the location of your group.
- Using secure wi-fi networks like eduroam and/or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) available free to students.
- Having strong passwords and varied usernames and passwords across platforms. For your student org’s social media, have only one person with the password if at all possible.
- If you have additional questions about protecting privacy for your RSO, including publicly-viewable CalLink information, reach out to email@example.com.
Campus Support Resources
You may already be aware of these, but we want to make sure you’re well-informed about the various campus supports available to you.
- General Student Support: Visit the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students’ Well Being resource, which provides more information about holistic wellness resources across campus. To discover additional resources or shae questions and concerns, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mental Health Support:
- Students: Campus counselors at University Health Services at the Tang Center are available on a drop-in basis for urgent concerns. Visit the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) website or call at (510) 642-9494. When the Tang Center is closed, call the after hours counseling line (855) 817-5667.
- Academic Accommodations Hub: Should you be grappling with the impacts of this event, we encourage you to explore academic flexibility in consultation with your instructors.
- Student Financial Support: Learn more about short-term emergency loans, or contact Cal to Student Central if you need assistance.
- Student Legal Services: (510) 642-3916, sa.berkeley.edu/legal. Advises students regarding their legal questions, rights, and obligations.
- The Center for Support and Intervention (CSI) provides consultation and intervention for harm and violence on campus. If you are impacted by these international events and need support, CSI is happy to talk to you about resources available to you.
- Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees: (510) 642-5754. If you wish assistance sorting through a campus-related conflict or concern, the Ombudsperson will listen to your concerns, serve as a sounding board, discuss your options with you, and help you get a new perspective and determine the next steps to take.
Be well, and take care of yourselves and each other. If you have questions or concerns, you can reach out to email@example.com.
Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students
Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion