Late last week we referenced an elaborate infiltration network discovered at UC Davis by an undergraduate who obtained administrative emails via a public records request. We made his op/ed available a day prior to its publication in the UC Davis Aggie. The student’s exposé was so informative that the Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi took it upon herself to personally pen a retort. Against accusations of “infiltration” by the student, Katehi writes,
Our Student Affairs staff and campus police department have worked collaboratively for many years to monitor – but absolutely not to “infiltrate” – student activist groups. We do so to ensure everyone’s safety and to better identify and address issues of concern. We accompany demonstrators to ensure their safety and the safety of those in their path.
Thus infiltration is apparently not infiltration if it is in the interest of public safety.
Our own concerns about safety grew after the March 4, 2010, demonstrations, when a crowd of about 300 students and their supporters threatened to march onto Interstate 80. We saw the potential for increased threats to life and property and, at that point, formalized our efforts into the Student Activism Team.
So they did indeed infiltrate. Katehi clearly admits it! And a nonviolent march on the interstate, something we saw happen almost simultaneously in downtown Oakland, is somehow a direct threat to “life and property.” How? This of course remains unspecified. Granted we weren’t there for the Davis march, but we certainly saw the video of cops firing on unarmed students and dragging a leading campus queer activist across the asphalt. Who’s violent now, Katehi?
There is absolutely nothing nefarious or under-handed about this team’s organization or objectives. Indeed, in the very documents referenced in the Aggie guest opinion, the mission of Student Affairs is clearly laid out as it relates to responding to student activism: “to support freedom of expression, promote student safety, educate the campus on free speech policy and assist in preventing disruption of normal campus activities.”
We aren’t idiots, Katehi. We are immune to your empty rhetoric. The Berkeley Office of Student Conduct, for example, claims on its website that it “has an educational purpose in helping our community discuss and hold each other responsible for living up to the standards outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.” This must be why they refuse to follow the standards outlined in said code, right?
The guest opinion acknowledges “that these programs are not totalitarian attempts to stomp out student activism” and that the many pages of reviewed documents “reveal a heart-felt desire to protect first amendment rights…”
The best you can do is agree that your administration is not “totalitarian”? Seriously? Look, we don’t care if you now admit openly that there are administrators and pigs
infiltrating protecting student organizations. Your administration oversaw infiltration. Case closed. Save your apologias for the trash can, which at this point is likely your only audience.
For Katehi’s entire piece, published today in the Aggie, click here.