I spent an hour stuck in UCSC local traffic trying to get to class, only to be forced to turn around by (expetive deleted) protesters while a campus PD officer stood and did nothing. Then spend another half hour stuck in traffic getting away from campus.
I just wrote out a “nice nastygram” (bit of any oxymoron that!) and sent it to the Chancellor, the Chief of the campus PD and CC’ed to well, everyone I can think of…. a copy of it follows below if you really want to see it, and it was satisfyingly cathartic. I suppose it’s a bit much to ask than anyone be embarrassed by the situation.
To Dr. George Blumenthal, Chancellor,
and Mr. Mickey Aluffi, Chief of Police:
I am writing to object in the strongest terms possible to the handling of today’s protests.
While I am not unsympathetic to the point made by the protesters today, I object to their method, and must equally fault the administration for allowing them to close access to campus.
Those who engage in civil disobedience must also accept the consequences, and I saw no sign whatsoever that those in authority intended to impose consequences upon the protesters. Absent that, the protesters’ actions were mere thuggery and those who turn a blind eye to them are complicit.
As far as I know, campus authorities have an obligation to enforce the law. I don’t know whether or not there is a legal obligation to assist students, faculty and staff in getting onto and off of campus, but it certainly seems like there should be.
Instead, parking officers blocked off the streets approaching the main entrance and in essence aided the protesters.
As a commuter student who had to work all morning, I was unaware of the protests or the reason for the road closure until I checked online while in stopped traffic on Empire Grade approaching the West Entrance. I know for a fact that several students in my class commute from work in Santa Clara or San Mateo counties, and they were likely caught in the same mess – as were hundreds of others as witnessed by the mile of traffic leading up to the west entrance.
At the west entrance, I was forced to turn around by a mob of students; the single campus police officer visible, while cordial, made clear that his instructions did not allow him to take any action to allow traffic through.
I missed half a day of work to attend class today, and was prevented from doing so by the actions of a small handful of misbehaving students. The responsibility for this does not lie solely with those students, but at least equally with the administration which coddles them.
I’m not sure that your administration is not more culpable: as a society, we make an allowance for “kids” like most undergraduates, while we expect responsible professionals to live up to full adult standards.
I strongly urge you in the future to take whatever actions are necessary to ensure that protests remain peaceful and do not disrupt the normal operation for campus. If student protesters will not cooperate, they should be subject to the normal legal and academic penalties.
Student, UCSC Baskin School of Engineering
Resident and taxpayer, San Mateo, CA
cc: Congresswoman Jackie Speier
cc: State Senator Leland Yee
cc: State Assemblyman Jerry Hill
cc: San Francisco Chronicle
cc: City on a Hill Press
(also CC’ed, but not marked in the original letter, to the Governor)
(edited to fix line breaks)