Chancellor Yang, upon discovering students were mocking him on the Facebook meme page “UCSB Fiery Meme Cuisine for Ashy Teens,” sent out an email to UCSB students, faculty, and staff early Saturday evening. A PDF version of the email can be viewed by clicking the following link: Cyber_Bullying_Re_Thomas_Fire_Office_of_the_Grand_Chancellor
The text of the email is reposted below. Please assist us in sharing this important message; the mental health of our community is at risk.
Dear Members of our Campus Community:
I am sitting at the desk in my office, writing to you this Saturday evening about an alarming issue that has recently come to my attention as I scroll dank memes. The mental health of this community is foremost in my mind.
The gravity of cyber bullying is not something I can easily downplay, and it is a problem this administration can not ignore. When you attack and blame me for responding in the best way that I can to a natural disaster beyond my control, you are normalizing hurtful behavior. When you mock someone in a facebook group dedicated to UCSB-related memes, you are using the internet as a platform to embarrass and ridicule instead of enlighten and inform. It’s a low blow to have to deal with this while I’m trying to protect this campus from burning to the ground.
Senior administrators, faculty, deans, campus health officials, and student leadership are meeting with mental-health professionals to try and minimize the harm caused by your cruel, and accusatory memes. I have been personally seeing a therapist, and it is going ok.
The air suffers not just from ash, particulates that aggravate the respiratory system, and smoke, but also from the poisonous vibes of this student body. Remember that cyber bullying is a felony. I’m headed to the police station now to fill out reports with my wife. My heart aches for this community, and I sincerely hope we can get through this coming week and be better than we were.
With deep appreciation,
Henry T. Yang
Wow. Powerful stuff.