Dear International Gauchos,
This week, we witnessed democracy under attack at the United States Capitol. If you read or watched the news regarding the January 6th events, you may have seen some disturbing and upsetting images of violence, unrest, and lawlessness.
We are outraged at this behavior and rhetoric that do not represent American values in any way, shape or form. Leaders of the UC and UCSB have offered the following messages of support:
This has been an unprecedentedly difficult time, and we at OISS wanted to reach out and offer our support to you. As an international Gaucho, you have a unique experience, and sometimes that comes with added layers of worry and concern. We are thinking of you.
You may feel worried about your visa status, and wonder whether or not you are protected. You may feel deep concern witnessing political and social unrest, and find that you cannot focus on your studies. You might see images in the media that make you feel afraid. You may have wondered if you are welcome here.
We at OISS want you to know that your feelings are valid, and you have every right to feel concerned. We also want you to know that you are welcome here, and you are wanted here. UCSB was founded on principles of academic freedom, equality, diversity, and respectful exchange. OISS stands against and strongly condemns any acts or behaviors that go against these principles.
As a reminder, there are support services available to you, even while we are remote. Your OISS advisors are available to you, as are wellbeing services such as Counseling & Psychological Services and Health & Wellness (click on the link to find out how to request support!) Finally, if you have experienced or witnessed an incident of hate or bias, you are invited to report it through the UC Bias Incident Reporting Form.
Please stay safe, healthy, and support one another.
We’ve got your back,
Your OISS Family