Dear International Gauchos and Allies,
I am deeply saddened and troubled to learn of recent incidents of bias against international students in Isla Vista. More specifically, we have received anonymous reports that students of Asian and Asian-American descent are being harassed with racist and derogatory comments, and other xenophobic behavior. Even worse, such incidents appear to have become a pattern and are not isolated.
Such incidents have no place in our community, which includes Isla Vista and off-campus housing. Hateful or derogatory speech, slurs, or actions directed toward any group are never acceptable. We expect every community member of UC Santa Barbara to conduct themselves with respect, human decency, compassion, and kindness.
We understand that experiencing or witnessing such incidents can have a detrimental impact on your sense of welcome and belonging here. Please know that any behavior of marginalization or harassment absolutely does not reflect the community values of UC Santa Barbara, its departments, faculty, staff, or student body. We condemn this type of behavior.
I have said this before, and I will continue on saying this - we are here for you, we are here with you!
The team at OISS wishes to support any student who may feel unsafe, uncomfortable, saddened, or worried by such incidents. However, it is very helpful to us to receive reports, even if they are anonymous. Otherwise, we may not be aware of such incidents, especially when they take place off-campus.
We have gained some insightful feedback that students may not know how to report incidents of bias, or fear that they may get in trouble if they do submit a report. If you experience, witness, or hear of any incidents of bias, please know that there are several things that you can do. It does not matter whether incidents take place in person or virtually, and you have the right to remain anonymous:
- Submit a Bias Incident Report to the Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor/ Dean of Student Life. You are welcome to submit as much or as little detail as you feel comfortable, and you can remain anonymous. Once a report is received, the UCSB Bias Incident Response team will coordinate with impacted individuals and determine the most appropriate response. We have added an easily-accessible link to the report form on the OISS homepage, and you can click on the button below. Learn more about the process here: http://studentlife.sa.ucsb.edu/bias
- Confide in an OISS Advisor! Don’t forget that OISS advisors are here to support and advocate international students specifically! We are ready and available to listen, provide support, and connect you with campus resources as appropriate. Visit our OISS Student Advising page: https://oiss.ucsb.edu/students/student-advising
- Seek support - from friends, staff, faculty members, and from campus resources. You can view the full offering of UCSB support resources here: https://wellbeing.ucsb.edu/
- Become an active bystander. If you feel comfortable and it feels to safe to do so, you can intervene during an incident and/or offer support to the victim.
Again, please know that OISS stands in support of every member of the international Gaucho community. My staff and I were deeply disturbed and saddened to hear of these recent incidents, and we strive to create a community in which every individual, regardless of background or identity feel welcomed and valued. We will continue advocating for you and supporting you.
Director, Office of International Students & Scholars
The OISS Staff