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Climate Statement 

The Department of Psychology is committed to supporting an environment where all students, post-doctoral researchers, staff, research scientists and faculty can work together without abusive or demeaning treatment. Recognizing that this issue is a significant problem in academia, the undersigned members of the Department of Psychology reaffirm our commitment to foster an environment that:

  • is free of sexual harassment
  • is supportive of victims’ and survivors’ reports and rights
  • does not harbor perpetrators of sexual harassment or other abuses of power
  • is conducive to pursuing research in a healthy and supportive culture that fosters the free and respectful exchange of ideas from different intellectual perspectives

We are committed to upholding UC San Diego’s Principles of Community and expect that all members of our Department will adhere to these standards. As such, we are taking steps to build a new infrastructure in which all members of the Department and the community will feel supported, know the relevant UC policies regarding sexual harassment and abuses of power, and know what resources are available to support complainants. We have formed a Climate Committee to ensure that all members of the community understand expectations regarding interpersonal relationships, abuses of power, and sources of help. We want to be clear that violating these expectations will not be condoned, and violators will be referred for disciplinary action.

Anyone in our community can seek help from a variety of sources, including from individuals within and outside of the Department who undergo regular training on University policies and procedures.

The Department will take all reports seriously and complainants can expect:

  • To be heard with respect and sympathy
  • To have violations of policy reported to campus authorities for action
  • That information provided directly to the Office of the Ombuds, to CAPS, or to CARE can be kept in confidence
  • To understand what the next steps are
  • To be asked whether they would like follow-up contact from the person they are speaking with, if allowable by university policy

Violations of policy that are reported to the department trigger obligatory reporting. Even so, information within such reports will only be provided on a need-to-know basis. If a higher level of confidentiality is desired, complainants should consider first contacting CARE, CAPS or the office of the Ombuds for advice (see above, and contact each office for more specific information about confidentiality). When legal and University regulations require the referral of reports of potential violations, the reporter will be notified that such a disclosure is being made, and why.

This statement and actions in accordance with it demonstrate our commitment to creating an environment free from abusive and demeaning treatment, as a well as a commitment to support and follow-up on the reporting of such mistreatment, to create a safe working and learning environment for all.


Below we provide a list of options that may be pursued alone or in any combination. This list is intended as a starting point, but anyone should feel free to contact others who they feel might better support their specific needs. CARE and CAPS provide access to confidential services and are often good places to seek information and further guidance.

  • CARE at the Sexual Assault Resource Center is the UC San Diego confidential advocacy and education office for sexual harassment, sexual violence and gender-based violence (dating violence, domestic violence, stalking). CARE provides violence prevention education for the entire UCSD campus and offers free and confidential services for students, staff and faculty impacted by sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking.
  • Graduate or undergraduate students seeking independent and confidential advice can contact Counseling and Psychology Services (CAPS).  “CAPS provides FREE, confidential, psychological counseling and crisis services for registered UCSD students.  CAPS also provides a variety of groups, workshops, and drop-in forums.” CAPS can see all currently registered students - undergraduates or graduates. 
  • Another source of independent advice is the Office of the Ombuds. “An alternate channel for confidential, neutral, and informal dispute resolution services for the UC San Diego Community.” Their phone number is (858) 534-0777 for appointment scheduling or questions.
  • Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination (OPHD)OPHD "works to resolve complaints of discrimination and harassment through formal investigation or alternative resolution.”  OPHD’s main phone line is (858) 534-8298 and their email is To make an online report of bias, harassment, or discrimination, please visit Information will be kept private to the extent possible, with the caveat that full confidence can only be maintained if the issue is posed hypothetically.
  • Faculty and staff can contact the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP). “The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is a confidential service designed to help all campus employees and the members of their immediate household resolve concerns that may be affecting personal well-being and/or job performance.”
  • Students and faculty and staff who provide accommodations to students in classrooms can contact the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD). OSD works with students with documented disabilities to review documentation and determine reasonable accommodations. 
  • The Department of Psychiatry has developed a webpage with resources and guidance to assist individuals responding to traumatic events.
  • Contact Psychology Staff members:
    • Student Affairs Manager, Samantha Llanos (
    • Graduate Coordinator, Janice Feng ( 
    • MSO, Peter Hinkley (
  • Contact Psychology Faculty Chair, Graduate Affairs, and members of Climate Committee:
    • Department Chair, John Serences (
    • Chair of Climate and Diversity Committee, Christina Gremel (
    • Faculty representatives on the Grad Advisors Panel:
      • Christina Gremel (
      • John Serences (
      • Karen Dobkins (
      • Lindsey Powell (
      • Emma Geller (
    • Chair of Graduate Affairs, Craig McKenzie (


For students of concern who require more immediate attention:

  • If there is immediate concern that an Undergraduate or Graduate student might harm themselves or others, then call campus police at 911 for an emergency response or 858-534-HELP for an urgent but non-emergency response. 
  • If there is cause for concern but not yet at the level of self-harm or harm to others, then the Triton Concern Line is a good resource - they have a team of clinicians on standby for consultations and they can offer guidance and/or act on their own depending on the situation. You can also inform students that they can call CAPS at (858) 534-3755 (press #2 for crisis counseling) or students can call the Triton Concern Line directly. 
  • For Undergraduate students exhibiting concerning behavior you should submit a concern form (this should always be done, even if steps 1 or 2 are also taken). In addition, you can send information -- like important background details -- to the relevant college Dean/Assistant Dean:

Undergraduate Colleges

Please visit College Resources for more information about resources that the Undergraduate Colleges can provide for students.

  • If you have concerns about a graduate student, contact April Bjornsen (, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for GEPA)
For students in need of non-clinical guidance, there is SACM to help connect students with resources on campus.