August 4, 2019

Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton

Just in the last nine months I have had occasion to write to you about horrific acts of violence in Pittsburgh, Thousand Oaks, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and San Diego. There have been many more opportunities to write. Just this year there have been 252 mass shootings in the United States, killing 281 people and wounding 1,025 others. In 32 cases three or more people were killed in a single episode.  There is no other country anywhere in the world not at war that regularly suffers in this way.

This morning our community awoke to news of a third mass killing over the past week.

Let me begin by extending to the victims and their families our deepest condolences. To the members of the UCI community: if you need support, please know that UCI has resources for students, faculty and staff. You can get more information at these websites:

Also, please know that UCI is committed to keeping our campus safe and has emergency procedures in place for your protection.

We do not yet know whether the killers this past week have been conclusively linked to white nationalist domestic terrorism or whether they merely fall in the category of non-political mass killers of the sort we associate with Las Vegas or Thousand Oaks.  Either way, we are not limited to condolences in our response. Let your voice be heard.  Consider whether your advocacy or political engagement can help create a future where we do not assume that terrorism, violence, and hatred destroy so many lives.  I also call again on our faculty to engage in more research and teaching on these issues, with support from the campus’s Confronting Extremism initiative.    

At UCI you are part of a community that celebrates and values the diverse talents, backgrounds and cultures that create the rich mosaic of our country and university. As we confront the darkness let us rededicate ourselves to being a source of enlightenment for our nation and for the world, paving the way toward a more just and peaceful future, where hope trumps despair, understanding subdues ignorance, empathy overrides insensitivity, and respect conquers hate.

Fiat Lux,

Chancellor Howard Gillman