Xenophobia, COVID-19, and Berkeley's Principles of Community

March 6, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

As concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak intensify at the local, national, and international levels, incidents of xenophobia and anti-Asian racism, harassment, and bullying on campus also have increased. These behaviors have no place at UC Berkeley. 

While we should exercise caution against infection from coronavirus, we also should stand firm in rejecting all forms of anti-Asian sentiment and other xenophobia in the guise of fear of COVID-19.

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans notes, “While the coronavirus represents a legitimate public health concern, it is not a ‘green light’ to target Asian Americans and Asian immigrants with racism and hate.”

As reflected in our campus Principles of Community, we must remain vigilant to ensure that all members of our campus community, regardless of race or country of origin, feel welcome, safe, and respected.  

UC Berkeley prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of categories including race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation/identity and/or sexual violence status.  If you have experienced physical assaults, hate crimes, and/or threats of violence, you have the right to report them to UCPD and the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). Concerns about hateful incidents or messages also can be made via stophate.berkeley.edu, our systemwide portal for making those reports.

For confidential support and care, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers drop-in services for students at the Tang Center and its satellite offices. Services for staff, faculty, visiting scholars, and postdocs are available through Be Well at Work.   

When each day of late seems to bring a new challenge, let’s be intentional with our time and care to check on and support each other in respectful and meaningful ways.

Best regards,

Oscar Dubón
Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion 

Eugene Whitlock
Assistant Vice Chancellor for People & Culture