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Statement of the Undersigned Members of the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design Faculty in Response to Recent Events on Our Campus

May 4, 2024

We, faculty and instructors of the Department of Architecture and Urban Design, strongly condemn recent events on our campus, most particularly the mob attack on our students and the university’s failure to support our students’ right to create space for peaceful protest and to be kept safe while doing so.

At the encampment, our students and others across UCLA, set up a self-made precinct to express the views of a collective they physically built and socially managed. It was in many ways a model, limited to members of the university community through the checking of IDs to gain access, and its participants worked to resist engagement with hecklers. The encampment was an effective space where self-discipline was a collective, ongoing project which initially appeared to be supported and even praised by university administration. UC and UCLA administrations were acknowledged for their clear dedication to protecting the rights of students to protest peacefully. The sharp disagreements within our UC community had been given space for the physical embodiment, literally in the students’ own bodies, of protest.

This contrasts with the jumbotron that in its architecture conveyed an institutionally sanctioned infrastructure, with its own security guards and televised horrors. It received an official permit to broadcast, but just like the mob attack on the night of April 30, the jumbotron was not a counterprotest of students, staff, or faculty, but the kind of affront that invites further violence.

On April 30, President Drake reversed course and declared the encampment “unlawful,” and Chancellor Block called it “unauthorized.” Such statements withdrew official protections from peaceful student activities, making the students vulnerable to attack. Later that night, the campus was invaded by a violent mob of agitators as police and security personnel stood by, unconscionably. “Safety concerns” without actual safety measures made removal of the non-violent encampment administratively permissible. The architecture of protest was dismantled and placed in the trash -- the kind of erasure that marks a long history of spatial injustice. Students have been asking justifiable and devastating questions about our campus, its priorities, and our inability to keep them safe.

We are horrified that Chancellor Block abdicated his responsibility to protect and support students. His statements and those of President Drake opened the way to these attacks on our community. The encampment, a material and spatial manifestation that housed people exercising their views, became a target for those who oppose the free exercise of views other than their own. We proclaim the right to peaceful protest, and demand that the Chancellor and the President be held accountable and take responsibility for their actions in sacrificing student safety and liberties to political expediency.


Dana Cuff, Professor and Director, cityLAB

Michael Osman, Associate Professor

Mohamed Sharif, Associate Adjunct Professor and Director, Undergraduate Program

Cristóbal Amunátegui, Assistant Professor

Kutan Ayata, Associate Professor, Vice Chair

Katy Barkan, Continuing Lecturer

Hallie Black, Lecturer

Miroslava Brooks, Assistant Professor

Lori Choi, Lecturer

Matt Conway, Lecturer

Morgane Copp, Lecturer

Kevin Daly, Adjunct Professor

Neil M. Denari, Professor

Liam Denhamer, Lecturer

Samaa Elimam, Assistant Professor

Yara Feghali, Lecturer

Gary Riichirō Fox, Lecturer

Claus Benjamin Freyinger, Lecturer

Valeria Ospital Greslebin, Lecturer

Georgina Huljich, Associate Professor

Mariana Ibañez, Associate Professor, Chair

Jeffrey Inaba, Adjunct Professor

Julia Koerner, Associate Adjunct Professor and Director, Summer Programs

Max Kuo, Lecturer

Ayala Levin, Associate Professor

Todd Lynch, Lecturer

Laure Michelon, Lecturer

Narineh Mirzaeian, Continuing Lecturer

Güvenç Özel, Continuing Lecturer

Marty Paull, Lecturer

Jason Payne, Associate Professor

Christopher Rancourt, Lecturer

Garrett Riccardi, Lecturer

Heather Roberge, Professor

Natasha Sandmeier, Assistant Adjunct Professor

Tucker van Leuwen-Hall, Lecturer

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