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Message from Vice Chancellor Charles Nies - July 11, 2017

July 11, 2017


Dear Campus Community,

I want to remind the campus about today’s opportunity for students, faculty and staff to gather in response to this weekend’s event at Chandelier’s Hookah Lounge & Smoke Shop. De Acker, Director of Campus Climate, Onar Primitivo, Assistant Director for Social Justice Initiatives, and Tania Gonzales, Assistant Director of Counseling and Psychological Services will host a talking circle from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, in the Bobcat Lair (KL 169). This will be an opportunity for all interested members of the campus community to gather to discuss their thoughts and emotions related to the incident and lead a discussion on the important issues of race and social justice.

We have contacted city officials and expressed our deep concern about this incident. I know that there were UC Merced students at the event, many of whom are leaders on our campus. Clearly, those students and others in our campus community have been impacted. We are committed to supporting our students.

In addition to today’s talking circle, UC Merced will continue to offer resources and support. The Intercultural Hub (KL 159), the adjoining Social Justice Center (KL 167), the Graduate Cultural Resource Center (temporarily located in KL 470), and the Reflection Room (SSB 255) are available spaces for students to gather. The staff members facilitating today’s talking circle and those in counseling and psychological services are available to meet with students who would like more one-on-one conversations.

I have also now had the opportunity to reach out to several who were involved in the incident to offer resources and support. The discussions we have and the information we learn over the coming days will inform our actions in the future.

I appreciate those who have reached out to me directly to share observations, and I welcome your perspective. As a longtime resident of a Merced, I am personally committed to working with city leaders and campus community members to make Merced a safe and welcoming environment.


Charles Nies
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs