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Letter to the Editor: Bruins should debate complex issues with empathy, sensitivity

By Janina Montero

May 6, 2015 12:23 a.m.

May 4, 2015

To the Daily Bruin editor:

Last week, in the midst of the Baltimore protests, several inflammatory stickers appeared on campus, including two posted on the door of the Afrikan Student Union. Serious conversations about race, proper use of force, crime, constitutional policing and other issues are to be expected. Passionate, informed debate – be it about campus elections, national politics or global issues – is part of a healthy community. But we can all conduct that debate with thoughtfulness and with respect, if not for the opinion of others, then at least for their human dignity. Especially on complex issues that can provoke deep feelings of anger, vulnerability or exacerbate tensions and mistrust, I want to emphasize the expectation that all Bruins approach these conversations with empathy and sensitivity, hear each other’s concerns and respond with the same level of integrity with which we all would like to be treated. That is how we build, rather than erode, trust and community.

Of course, all of us in Student Affairs are available to assist and support in any way.

Janina Montero
UCLA vice chancellor of Student Affairs

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