Letter: ASUCD Responds to Proud Boys Incident

Dear UC Davis Community:

We, the Associated Students of the University of California, Davis, are deeply disturbed by the acts of hatred that took place yesterday, October 25th, 2022. Turning Point USA’s hateful rhetoric is antithetical to the values of the UC Davis community. We stand in solidarity with the students who protested TP USA’s presence on campus.

While we firmly believe in the freedom of speech and its importance to a democratic society, the actions of the radical right-wing counter-protesters were certainly not an exercise of this right. We are horrified by the actions of the counter-protestors and condemn their hateful decision to resort to violence. Domestic terrorist groups, including the Proud Boys, have no place on our campus. Pepper spraying and engaging in assault and battery against students and security guards are not acceptable methods to voice your discontent with a protesting group.

We extend our gratitude to Associate Vice Chancellor Atkinson, other members of campus administration, and the paramedics who ensured that our students present at the protest received appropriate medical care.

Seeing such rhetoric so close to our campus is distressing and we encourage you to reach out to the following campus resources should you need support:

  • Student Health and Counseling Services:
    • Individual Counseling is offered in-person and through secure video conferencing or by telephone consultation. Students can schedule an appointment via the

Health-e-Messaging portal, or by calling 530.752.0871

  • Crisis Consultation Services are available by calling 752.0871 or in-person at the Student Health and Wellness Center during business hours.
  • Students interested in group services, schedule a one time visit with a UC Davis counselor via the Health-e-Messaging portal, or call 752.0871 to discuss your options.
  • HDAPP: HDAPP is available to receive reports of harassment or discrimination against anyone affiliated with UC These include complaints of: Discrimination, Hate and Bias, Sexual Harassment, Other sex based conduct, Sexual Violence, and Other Prohibited Behavior.
  • Ombuds Office: The UC Davis Ombuds Office is a confidential, independent, impartial, and informal problem-solving and conflict management resource for all members of the UC Davis community. The Ombuds can assist by listening to concerns, clarifying issues, identifying policies and resources, and providing coaching and communication strategies.

Additionally, if you would like a peer to discuss these matters with, the student government offices can be found on the third floor of the Memorial Union building. The office hours of all elected and appointed ASUCD officials are publicly available on the ASUCD website.

In the future, should such groups that threaten our Principles of Community return to campus, we encourage students to exercise their right to protest. Please be informed of your rights and responsibilities when protesting, including how to protest safely. We want to be unequivocally clear that the destruction of campus property and the surrounding environment is an inappropriate means of protesting. We ask that students protest in a manner that is safe and that avoids destruction without symbolic purpose. As always, please look after each other and ensure that we are keeping one another safe.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like us to convey any of your concerns to campus administrators regarding this, or any future, incident. ASUCD remains committed to taking proactive steps towards creating a safer, more welcoming campus for its students, faculty, and staff. We recognize that campus administration is constrained by legal considerations in their response to this incident. However, we expect that further action will be taken by campus administrators to ensure that students are able to protest safely as well as to explore innovative ways to foster cultural sensitivity and tolerance within the UCD community.



ASUCD President Radhika Gawde

ASUCD Internal Vice President Joseph Eden


In Solidarity,


ASUCD Senator Gaius Ilupeju

ASUCD Senator Zeph Schnelbach

ASUCD Senator Priya Talreja

ASUCD Senator Eustacio Alamilla

ASUCD Senator Aarushi Raghunathan

ASUCD Senator Julia Shurman

ASUCD Transfer Student Representative Logan Ueno

ASUCD Senator Francisco Ojeda

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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    1. Jean-Jacques Surbeck

      What exactly is the difference between free speech and pseudo free speech? Do you have objective criteria to offer, or do we have to accept that the difference between the two is that you like some (a.k.a. “free speech”) and dislike some others (a.k.a. “pseudo free speech”). I’m guessing you don’t have any valid criteria. All you have are your ideological preferences. That’s not enough to determine what is free speech and what is not.

  1. Jean-Jacques Surbeck

    What is interesting in this whole affair is that no one seems interested in identifying the initial “100 protesters” who clearly objected to the presence of a conservative speaker on campus. Why didn’t the campus police keep them in check and prevent them from harassing people who wanted to come to the lecture? Instead, they just stood by, giving room and space to a smaller and equally aggressive group of “counter-protesters”, and that was all the excuse the administration needed to call off the whole thing. Well done.

    The ASUCD letter above adds to the collective hypocrisy over this matter. Why is it that conservative speakers (or pro-Israel ones for that matter) have to take into account almost every time this intolerant crowd? Recently there was a Palestinian speaker who uttered the worst antisemitic tropes around. Not a peep from anyone. The bias expressed in this letter by the ASUCD is typical of the double standard that UCD applies to speakers: if they are left-leaning, they’re ok, but if they’re conservative, they are guilty of – I quote – “hateful rhetoric [that] is antithetical to the values of the UC Davis community”. Which values? Do they include censorship? How would they know since they didn’t even give the speaker a chance to express his ideas? If this is not intimidation to eliminate free speech when it’s not of the left-leaning inclination, what is? The UCD administration and the ASUCD are making a mockery of the very concept of free speech they claim so righteously to defend.

    But they didn’t stop with this blatant display of raw intolerance, they incited students to protest what they have decided in their infinite wisdom is unacceptable discourse. This incitement is the reason the entire crisis happened. Will they be held accountable for it? And how about letting the students listen and decide for themselves? Not on your life. All it takes is that they’re being told conservative speakers are bad to justify protesting (and as the case may be) attack them.

    Clearly not one bit embarrassed by their own hypocrisy, the ASUCD letter concludes with “we firmly believe in the freedom of speech”. No, they don’t. They do only if it is speech they approve of. If it’s not, every form of protest (including violence) is “justified”. Let’s face it, free speech is OK for some but not for others. What a sad joke UCD is turning out to be, no better than UC Irvine and other UC campuses where leftist intimidation rules. Places of learning open to all ideas? Please…

    1. Ron Oertel

      I agree with much of what you write, here.

      I find this statement particularly-amusing, from the article itself:

      In the future, should such groups that threaten our Principles of Community return to campus, . . . 

      What seems to be occurring (nationwide) are events by conservative speakers who make it a point to speak on campuses for the purpose of inciting a violent or unreasonable reaction.  At which point, they’ve already proved their “point” – without even uttering a word.

      I personally view these events as groups of people who like to fight with each other, while pointing fingers at the other side.  I don’t even know what the supposed, underlying political arguments are, anymore (nor do I actually care).

      Political theater, for non-combatants.

      This is not unlike what some conservative presenters do on YouTube (e.g., by showing clips from “Libs of Tik Tok”) – which are pretty amusing, at times.

      1. Jean-Jacques Surbeck

        “What seems to be occurring (nationwide) are events by conservative speakers who make it a point to speak on campuses for the purpose of inciting a violent or unreasonable reaction.”  Interesting point of view, but I think it’s off the mark. If the goal of conservative speakers was just to rile the dominant “liberal” one and thus prove time and again how intolerant said liberals are, why would the latter keep falling into that trap… over and over again? Could it be rather that conservative speakers just want to speak on campuses for the exact same reason “liberal” ones do, i.e. present their ideas to the student population and try to convince them of their validity? If these ideas have no value, shouldn’t the students be the ultimate judges rather than having a little army of leftist gnomes immediately spring up to prevent them from even hearing these ideas? No, the real problem is that the left is terrified by real, unimpeded discussions over differing ideologies in which they stand a good chance of losing battle after battle given the lunacy of their own ideas. Rather than taking a chance on having a fair dialogue, they’d rather kill it, with violence if needed. If that’s democracy and free speech at work, how would we then define totalitarianism, where – do I need to remind anyone – only one ideology, phraseology and ideas are allowed?

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