Extra Editorial: An Open Invitation To Chancellor Linda Katehi For A Simple Apology
As a busy graduate student with responsibilities in lab I was unable to attend the protest at the UCD quad last Friday. I was absolutely appalled this morning when I awoke to find shocking pictures and videos from our humble campus being disseminated across all forms of media. While I am not entirely sure I entirely agree with Nathan Brown’s assessment of Chancellor Katehi’s handling of the situation, I am getting more and more fed up with her intentional obtuseness.
There is absolutely no reason for her to feign a misunderstanding of what occurred yesterday on the quad, the evidence of wrong doing is as clear cut as it comes. Regardless of what the protest is about, or the issues at hand, there is absolutely no reason to use literal chemical weapons on peaceful protesters. If Katehi asked the UCD police to remove the tents and personal effects of the protesters, then that is exactly what they should have done. From the videos, pictures, and personal accounts it is clear that the police could have dismantled the tents without purposefully pepper spraying and assaulting the cowering peaceful protesters. While I appreciate that Chancellor Katehi has expressed her sadness towards the events of yesterday I have seen no evidence of an official apology or admission of wrong doing.
This is absolutely unacceptable, I cannot stand idly by while the world judges the UC Davis community. I would like to offer an open invitation to Chancellor Katehi to apologize for the events that took place on the UC Davis Quad on Friday the 18th of November 2011. At this point the Chancellor has made multiple statements about her commitment to ensuring the safety of students here at UC Davis, without actually addressing the failure to protect students brutalized by police officers on campus. I am not asking for an admission of guilt, just a simple apology. I would like to hear Chancellor Katehi admit that she does not need to create a Task Force that will take 90 days (3 months!) to report that students were assaulted by police officers.
I am pleading to you, for the sake of the UC Davis community and all of the outraged people in the world, please issue an official apology Chancellor Katehi. There needs to be a clear statement made that the aggressive actions taken by police officers yesterday against peaceful student protesters were unnecessary, and are not condoned by the UC Davis administration. Someone needs to be held accountable for the disturbing incident that happened. Without issuing an official apology you are leaving yourself open to criticism. Regardless of the intentions leading to yesterdays debacle, students were hurt and the Chancellor is ultimately responsible. A sincere apology must be issued to the students of UC Davis, whom you have promised to protect. Since just this morning, over 15,000 people have signed a petition calling for Chancellor Katehi’s resignation. If an apology is not issued, I am afraid that this will spiral out of control and the reputation of UC Davis will be forever tarnished by this incident.
- Gordon Walker