Court issues order on Science Hill protest

To: UCSC Community

From: David Kliger, Executive Vice Chancellor

In a preliminary injunction issued yesterday, Santa Cruz County Superior Court enjoined seven defendants and others from lodging in trees occupied since November 7 on Science Hill.

The court's order affirms that this tree occupation was and is unlawful and not, as some have claimed, protected free speech.

The injunction ( prohibits not only the named defendants, but anyone with notice of this order, from lodging in or climbing into the trees, carrying possessions into those trees, providing tree-sitters with food and supplies, or engaging in other related activities. Those who ignore the court's order may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.

This court order gives the people who have been illegally occupying

university property a new opportunity to obey the law -- by leaving voluntarily.

The current situation will not be the last time our community is challenged by the conflict that arises when people hold passionate but opposing views on important issues. As a community, we have a collective responsibility to come together around difficult issues and seek understanding that can inform our thinking and our actions.

To that end, I am sponsoring two initiatives. The first will engage

individuals and groups in continuing dialogue about the issues that have recently divided us. Longer term, I will be implementing a campus-based mediation program; the goal of the program will be to expand dispute-resolution options for the UCSC community. I am hopeful that these two efforts will open new pathways to shared understanding and tolerance.

To be successful, these initiatives will require active involvement by all of us -- faculty, staff, and students. In coming weeks, I will share more information on these initiatives and how you can participate.