We want to start by wishing a Happy Lunar New Year to students who are celebrating. Many of our celebrations have looked different this year as we all make adjustments to protect ourselves and our communities during the pandemic. We hope you have found a way to safely celebrate given these challenges.
We are also writing to communicate our support for our APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) and Asian communities at a time when there have been some very disturbing reports of hate crimes against Asian-identified individuals in the United States. These attacks have been spurred by a wave of xenophobic and anti-Asian sentiment during the pandemic, though are part of a long-standing history of exclusion and oppression in our country. This history has often pitted oppressed groups against each other, distracting us from rooting out racism within each of our communities, and from dismantling white supremacy.
To date, we have not had any recent, local reports that we know of, but if you or someone you know wishes to communicate a bias incident or hate crime, you can file a report, access Frequently Asked Questions, and find resources at studentlife.sa.ucsb.edu/bias.
As our country and our local communities continue to reckon with our histories of racism and exclusion, I encourage members of our community to practice principles of bystander intervention if you witness acts of bias or hate. It takes every one of us to create a community where each of our identities is honored and respected, and I hope you will do so out of respect for your fellow Gauchos.
On behalf of the Asian Resource Center (ARC) and the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), we’d like to highlight just a few of our phenomenal APIDA student organizations in our APIDA Virtual New Year video series. Each one has shared their cultures' traditions and ways of honoring the New Year. We invite folks to sit in the multiple truths of holding onto our joy with the celebrations that connect us, and recognize and commit to the significant work we still need to do to create safer and more equitable spaces.
While the following resources serve many of our student communities, we want to remind our APIDA students at this time that there are many campus services here to support you:
Margaret Klawunn, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Katya Armistead, Ed.D.
Assistant Vice Chancellor & Dean of Student Life