Skip to main content

Faculty Statement

May 6, 2024

The undersigned members of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego condemn the violent and repressive police actions carried out by order of the administration against students, staff, and faculty exercising their right to peacefully protest on campus on May 6, 2024. We join the many voices at this university and around the country to express our deep concern over the administration’s failure to engage in civil dialogue with the protesters, as well as their overtly punitive measures such as suspensions and misdemeanor charges.

We call on the campus administration to respect the rights of free speech, assembly, and dissent on our campus and not to weaponize the university's policies to punish students. Journalists, faculty observers, and students testify to the pacific and inclusive nature of the protest. There is no evidence of violence on the part of protesters. To call this a "dangerous protest" is not only demonstrably false; it wrongfully justifies the unnecessary deployment of militarized force against students. The administration's authoritarian actions have disrupted teaching, learning, and research more than the encampment ever could have.

We have asked only tenured faculty to sign this statement. As the Literature Department stated, we also recognize “the tactics of intimidation and aggression that are used by those who oppose the right to protest in order to suppress nonviolent protest and organized dissent.”

We demand:

  • That the UCSD administration immediately reverse its decision to suspend student protesters. Concerns regarding health, fire safety, and sanitation could have been resolved without punitive measures.
  • That the administration grant full amnesty to students and student organizations who participated in the non-violent protest and that all misdemeanor and criminal charges against those who were arrested be dropped immediately.  It is of the utmost importance that students do not lose access to housing, health care, and academic services.
  • And, we echo our colleagues in Ethnic Studies to demand that police be removed from campus immediately and permanently. San Diego Police, County Sherrifs, and Highway Patrol have no place on the UC San Diego campus and should never be called upon to surveil, repress, and threaten our students. As we have seen across the country in recent weeks and in decades past, the weapons police bring onto campuses inevitably lead to escalation and grievous injury, or worse, and have no place at educational institutions. Moreover, police presence does not make students feel safer--on the contrary, the arrival of police heightens community tensions, worsens relations among community members, and is a chilling act of repression and censorship. The police presence on campus advertises to the world, including parents and prospective students, that UCSD responds to conscientious, peaceful student dissent with clubs rather than dialogue. It is imperative that the university understands its responsibility to care for students and that punitive action involving three different police agencies equipped with tear gas and guns is a gravely disproportionate response to the alleged fire and safety hazards of the encampment.


Amy Adler, Professor
Lisa Cartwright, Professor 
Brian Cross, Professor, Media Area Head
Teddy Cruz, Professor
Danielle Dean, Associate Professor
Ricardo Dominguez, Professor and Chair
Malik Gaines, Professor, PhD Director
Anya Gallaccio, Professor
Grant Kester, Professor
Nicole Miller, Associate Professor
Rubén Ortiz Torres, Professor
Jordan Rose, Associate Professor
Paul Sepuya, Associate Professor, MFA Faculty Director
Brett Stalbaum, Associate Teaching Professor
Michael Trigilio, Teaching Professor
Mariana R Wardwell, Associate Professor
John Welchman, Professor
Monique Van Genderen, Professor

Links to some other statements in circulation:

UCLA faculty and staff demands (asking for signatories UC-wide)
UCSD Faculty Association statement
UCSD faculty testimony on the encampment