Protesters Mark One Month of Occupying Mrak Hall

Monday marked a moment of somber and heartfelt reflection over the Mrak protesters struggle
Monday marked a moment of somber and heartfelt reflection over the Mrak protesters’ struggle

If university officials were of the belief that the protest and occupation of Mrak Hall would fizzle out, Monday’s passing of the one-month anniversary underscores their miscalculation.  If anything, Monday proves that the protest is here to stay and that the university must change its approach if it wishes to have use of much of the Fifth Floor of Mrak Hall.

On Monday evening, the Vanguard was invited to join as many as 30 or 40 of the protesters for a one-month celebration and dinner. The message, talking to the protesters, was clear – they are not going anywhere.

While the evening was mostly informal with some levity – the cake with the writing, “Bye Katehi” – the protesters gathered around for a period of reflection, where one by one they spoke.  The overall theme was that, for them, this was an issue of critical import, they feel that the university’s mission has been co-opted and the controversies surrounding the chancellor are an embodiment of it.  They are offended that a chancellor making over $400,000 would need to make money on the side.

But this was also a very personal moment.  It is clear that there were moments of hardship and doubt along the way.  It was a moment to express camaraderie and a common purpose, with a period of personal growth and struggle.

Privately, some of the protesters explained that they are doing their best to keep up with their coursework.  That they are rotating people in and out, trying to keep a critical mass.  Many are struggling with attending enough classes to keep up.

In contrast to accounts by the university and in the media, they seemed humbled by this experience.  They were less bombastic and angry than introspective.

MRAK-Occupation-1-Mo

On Monday morning, they released an open letter to President Napolitano, marking the 32nd day of occupation:

Over the past 32 days, our coalition of UC Davis students, workers, and community members has conducted marches, rallies and a sit-in protest calling for Linda Katehi’s resignation. We have received support from multiple California legislators and 39 statements of solidarity from Davis faculty, students, workers, labor unions, and community groups. Finally, the recent legislative hearing evaluating the integrity of Katehi’s actions and their implications for administrative policy across the UC and CSU systems, underscored our assertion that there is no realistic justification for Katehi’s conduct. Administrators at UC Davis have proven themselves incapable of appropriately responding to this situation, and have failed to hold themselves accountable to the students, workers, and faculty they are supposed to serve.

While Linda Katehi has sent other administrators, students, and faculty to try to schedule a closed and exclusive meeting, she has repeatedly refused our offers for a meeting in a transparent, open, and accountable space. Those actively protesting in the lobby of Katehi’s office have dismissed the option of such a closed meeting for multiple reasons. First, such a meeting would continue to represent the voices of only a few and would defeat the intention of holding Katehi accountable to the entire student body and campus staff. Second, due to the active threat of academic dismissal and police intervention being held over us, the power differential inherent to such a meeting would be an insurmountable barrier to meaningful dialogue. Third, there is a long history of closed dialogues between campus activists and top UC Davis administrators being ineffective in the long term. Finally, after the Assembly Oversight Hearing on Conflicts and Abuse in the Outside Employment of UC and CSU Executives conducted on Monday, April 4th, Chancellor Katehi proved her own ineptitude and inability to explain her transgressions and take responsibility for her actions. After that display, it has become clear that a dialogue with her would provide no novel information, and no promise for instituting change.

While thousands of students, workers, faculty, staff, and community members joined the movement calling for Linda Katehi’s resignation and expressed their dissatisfaction with her performance as Chancellor, Katehi’s own distance from and disregard for the needs and safety of UC Davis students and workers have only become more pronounced. We believe that this is more than just a problem with Katehi; it’s symptomatic of a deeper trend of disconnection and diminished accountability resulting from the continuing process of privatization in the UC system (and higher education in general). As the structure of the university shifts toward a profit-oriented model, the UC Regents and local administrators gain an increasing financial incentive to disregard the economic interests and physical and mental health of the students and workers in their charge. This is unacceptable to us, and violates the spirit of community support and pursuit of knowledge upon which the UC system was founded. Accordingly, this is about more than just seeing Linda Katehi removed from office. This is a demand for larger structural changes that democratize decision-making processes and re-center the well-being of the students and workers of the UC Davis community as the top priority for campus administrators.

Given the demonstrated incompetence of the UC Davis administration, we call on the Office of the President today to step in and demonstrate what accountable and transparent leadership looks like. We ask first that you exercise your authority to fire Linda Katehi pursuant to Regents Policy 7077, which she violated when she accepted a paid position on the board of DeVry Education Group without approval from the Chair of the Board of Regents. Secondly, we ask for you to meet with the protestors here at UC Davis and work with us to resolve the underlying problems with the administrative structures at UC Davis, and across the entire UC system. In accordance with the concerns about transparency and accessibility we mentioned before, we ask that the meeting be conducted in a format open to as many of the protestors or other associated community members as can make it, and that we be allowed to record the proceedings.

Please respond promptly, as students, workers, and faculty are at risk.

Thank you,

The Protestors at Mrak Hall

Cutting the cake becomes a moment of unity
Cutting the cake becomes a moment of unity

 —David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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85 Comments

  1. Justice4All

    The protesters are not the “bullies” or ” thugs”that they have been portrayed as by much of the administration. If the people who call them those names had the courage to go speak to the protesters in person, they would be amazed at how warm, inclusive, and polite these people are.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      So polite as to film employees using the restrooms, and posting the pictures on social media for the whole world to see? That inclusive and polite?

          1. David Greenwald

            No one wants to answer this question: why remove signs posted by protesters unless you want to get in the middle of the dispute – that’s what happened.

        1. Barack Palin

          Why should employees that work at Mrak Hall have to pussyfoot to the demands of activist students?  Why should they have their restroom designations changed to conform to the beliefs of some group that has no authority to change the rules?  David, it seems you’re bending over backwards to try and deflect the protester actions and blame it on the staff who did nothing wrong.

          I still think the two women who had their pics posted with the subsequent vile comments should seek legal recourse.

        2. hpierce

          There was at least one video of one who did remove the sign, as she walked into the restroom… you actually posted the link… failure of your “belief”…

        3. Barack Palin

          Hpierce, are you talking to me or David?  I know they removed the the temporary signs.  That makes no difference.  If someone put a men’s sign over a ladies restroom sign trying to make a statement should it not be touched because one shouldn’t get involved?

        4. hpierce

          Why do anything, Pugilist, if it might get you “in trouble”? Speaking out against war?Defending your principles?  Speaking out against injustice?  Speaking up for ones self?God forbid we ever do anything that might “get us in trouble”…

        5. Barack Palin

          I’m sorry, but this whole deflection that the staff shouldn’t have involved themselves is just a deflection and asinine.  Supporters of the activist students had to really reach deep to come up with this crap.

          1. David Greenwald

            I don’t agree it’s a deflection – it was an important escalation of the conflict. But other than the videoing of the removal and a few unnecessary facebook comments, I’m not sure why this has been turned into a bigger deal than it is.

        6. Barack Palin

          If your pic was put on the Internet with the vile disgusting comments that followed, comments that you deleted off the Vanguard because you found them so vile, would you think it wasn’t a big deal?  I think you would be all over it.

          1. David Greenwald

            So you don’t know the answer. So you are actually just assuming that people posting on Facebook are either the protesters or connected to the protesters? So you are maligning the protesters for something they may have had nothing to do with?

  2. Tia Will

    At its core, I believe that this is a case of speaking truth to power.

    It is true that the message has been diluted by the common protest errors of distraction, the adding on of peripherally related issues and ironically enough too narrow a focus on an unrealistic and ultimately less than optimal goal. Much of this can be chalked up to youth and inexperience of the protestors.

    The choices made by Chancellor Katehi are a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. I have often stated that I believe that due to her lack of compatible philosophy and poor judgement and decision making, the best decision for both her and UCD would be for her to resign. I do not believe that her behaviors have been so egregious as to warrant being fired, but I do think a little heart to heart from Ms. Napolitano resulting in a resignation would be warranted.

    The real issues here for me are the systemic conversion of a public institution to a private enterprise. The gutting of the primary mission of the UC system from providing education to the qualified residents of California is for me the core of the issue. Anything that detracts from this mission whether it is preferential admission of non residents for cash, or private enrichment of top administrators through outside board participation, or the deliberate selection of academic winners and losers in alignment with ones own interests should be identified and rules rewritten so as to restore the primary mission of free ( or at least low cost) education for qualified California residents.

    1. tribeUSA

      Tia–well said. I particularly agree with your statements re: privatization. However, if Katehi were to resign, I would expect someone much like her would be installed (particularly since Napolitano too is a useful tool of the powers that be)–an accomplished (and very intelligent) technocrat who is aligned with the move toward privitization and a more corporate style governance of the university. The fix is in. We are seeing the effects of globalization and the corporate/financial/wall street rule tentacles, with those pulling the strings of influence from behind the scene having no particular loyalty to any nation (perhaps some think they are loyal to everyone, to the ‘citizens of the world’, however I would contend that operationally they are loyal to no-one), but who are intent on further consolidation of their wealth and power (so far its working pretty well for them) right here in li’l ole Davis.

  3. Barack Palin

    It’s time to end the pajama party sleepover and for the adults to break it up and send them home, press trespassing charges, make them pay for any damages and apply any applicable student conduct penalties up to and including expulsion.

        1. Barack Palin

          They’re trespassing, have been asked nicely to leave, the admin has been more than patient, they’re still there a month later so it’s time for them to pay the price for their actions.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          I listened to one of Martin Luther King’s speeches, and in it he said that protestors and marchers should be prepared to accept the legal consequences of their actions. So yes, trespassing and other laws could be enforced.

          I also don’t think filming and posting photos of Mrak Hall staffers on social media conforms to the spirit of our Principles of Community.

          Could we also charge them for rent and utilities? Or for the cost of having to use alternate facilities?

          1. David Greenwald

            Are there either? From my understanding, the protesters are very mindful of not leaving messes for janitorial staff. Is there added security?

        3. Barack Palin

           Is there added security?

          “Because Mrak Hall is not a residence hall,” Hexter wrote, “it has been necessary to assign additional staff to monitor the building throughout nights and over the weekend in order to ensure safety. The protesters’ remaining in Mrak Hall when it is closed is but one of the violations of campus regulations about which the occupiers have been repeatedly informed but which they continue to ignore.”

          So the answer to your question David is YES.

          http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/ucd/ucd-protesters-ask-napolitano-to-come-to-mrak/

      1. South of Davis

        David wrote:

        > Sorry ruin their lives over a protest?

        I don’t want to speak for BP, but I would tell them, they had a fun month and need to wrap things up.  I would “forget about it” if everyone was gone on Friday when I came back to lock up, but if anyone wanted to “ruin their own life” I would be pressing criminal charges at all the remaining kids as soon as I expelled them from school.

        Remember I support the fact that they want Katehi gone and I would support the “civil disobedience” of someone taking a dump on her front lawn, but if the same guy kept coming back every day for a month to take a dump on her front lawn I would say “we got the message” “time to end this or we kick you out of school and call the cops”…

         

        1. Alan Miller

          I would support the “civil disobedience” of someone taking a dump on her front lawn,

          I’d rather have someone camping in my office foyer for a month than have them take one crap on my lawn.

    1. sisterhood

      Palin,
      Why does this protest cause you to be so angry? Why are you upset? Are these students bothering you, or a loved one?

      Is it the trans/restroom issue that upsets you? Haven’t you ever met anyone n your entire lifetime who has struggled with their sexual or gender identity?

      Why did you make snide comments about the protesters, insinuating that they are children, because they have strong opinions and they are youthfully passionate?

      Look at yourself and try to figure out why you are an angry person. Then you can take the next step to overcome your anger. Then, perhaps, readers would take your opinions more seriously.

      1. Barack Palin

        You always tell everyone to ignore me yet you always seem to read my every post.  Why don’t you stop reading my comments then you won’t get so upset.  I’m allowed my opinion just like everyone else.  Why does it bother you when I state my opinions?

        1. sisterhood

          Your knee jerk to every commenter who disagrees with you is to turn it back on the poster, without addressing anything that might make you uncomfortable. I’m not the least bit upset, you are.

          I am slightly amused, and a little bit saddened by all that pent up anger you harbor.

        2. Barack Palin

          That’s because you haven’t said anything that deserves to be addressed.  For someone that claims they don’t read my posts you sure seem to know a lot about me.  Please, heed your own advice and ignore my posts, you won’t be saddened and you’ll sleep better at night.

        3. sisterhood

          It’s true that I previously stated here that I do not read your posts.

          Awhile ago, I changed my mind and now, if I wake up in a god mood, I read them. If I accidentally view something negative in the media, especially the nuts at FOX news, or the tea party whacko’s, I tend to stay away from your posts because I can only take so much nonsense in the course of one day. I’m retired, and prefer to spend my time enjoying life, not dealing with idiots.

        4. sisterhood

          Why did you make snide comments about the protesters, insinuating that they are children, because they have strong opinions and they are youthfully passionate?

    2. Tia Will

      BP

      So is it you position that more harm has been done by the protestors than by the actions of this Chancellor and others who have enriched themselves at the expense of students whose costs for “public” education have been constantly rising while the top administration capitalized on the existing rules which allowed them to do so, but certainly did not force them to do so. Or maybe you believe that this protest has done more damage than was done to the qualified Californian students who could not get an earned place in the university of their choice because the top administrators were recruiting wealthy out of state and foreign students for money to distribute amongst the already wealthy ?

      I think that we should place the blame for all of this where it belongs….with the top university administrators. If the MRAK hall staffers are really so put out, perhaps they should also lay the blame where it belongs, namely with those who actually have the power to affect changes.

      1. Barack Palin

        If the MRAK hall staffers are really so put out, perhaps they should also lay the blame where it belongs, namely with those who actually have the power to affect changes.

        Sorry, but I don’t think it was Katehi who videotaped those two women and put their pics on the Internet which ended up subjecting them to vile comments.

        1. Tia Will

          BP

          I don’t think it was Katehi who videotaped those two women and put their pics on the Internet which ended up subjecting them to vile comments.”

          You seem a bit fixated on the bathroom kerfuffle while giving Katehi a pass for her much more impactful breaking of the rules. If she had not broken the rules with her acceptance of the DeVry position ( she has admitted as much, but other than a weak apology, has not accepted the responsibility for having done so) none of this would have occurred. Given that this is factually  true, I am wondering in the interests of equal application of rules, if you would accept the same weak apology from the protestors that you seem so willing to accept from Katehi ?

           

  4. Anon

    We believe that this is more than just a problem with Katehi; it’s symptomatic of a deeper trend of disconnection and diminished accountability resulting from the continuing process of privatization in the UC system (and higher education in general). As the structure of the university shifts toward a profit-oriented model, the UC Regents and local administrators gain an increasing financial incentive to disregard the economic interests and physical and mental health of the students and workers in their charge.

    This is a complicated issue.  UC has privatized because it is not getting the economic support it needs from the state legislature.  But I believe part of (not all) of the reason UC does not get the support from the state legislature has to do with UC paying such high salaries to its administrators and the controversy surrounding outside compensation coupled with conflicts of interest.  The state legislature does not believe either the UC or Cal State system are doing all they can to keep costs down.  At the same time, the legislature itself is guilty of the identical thing – not keeping costs down of running the state gov’t.  There is a good deal of waste (and corruption) there (and at the federal level as well).

    Having said that, the students do not have the right to be disruptive or occupy Mrak Hall.  If they want to demonstrate, it should be done on the quad where protesting is supposed to be permitted.  IMO their demands are unrealistic, but understandable.

    1. South of Davis

      Anon wrote:

      >  The state legislature does not believe either the UC or Cal State

      > system are doing all they can to keep costs down.

      It is hard to keep costs down when so many people at UC are hiring their significant others, kids, friends and in laws to $100K+ “management” jobs:

      http://universityprobe.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/image001.png

      While so many more “insiders” are getting high paying “management” jobs UC has been increasing the number of PhDs working for next to nothing (as they hold out the tenure carrot that less and less people actually get).

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Probably not so simple an analysis.

        Take our fundraising drive that raised over $1 Billion, and surpassed the high goal a year early. How many of those management people helped write grant proposals and land large donations?

  5. Barack Palin

    If I was in charge I wouldn’t warn the activists ahead of time because all that would do is give them time to rally their forces.  I would get the police and pick a time to just show up unannounced and tell the students that they either leave right now or face the consequences.  All that stayed would be arrested and charged accordingly and student conduct penalties would follow.

    1. sisterhood

      From Wikipedia:
      Freedom of assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right or ability of people to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue, and defend their ideas.[1] The right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, apolitical right and a civil liberty.
      The terms freedom of assembly and freedom of association may be used to distinguish between the freedom to assemble in public places and the freedom to join an association. Freedom of assembly is often used in the context of the right to protest, while freedom of association is used in the context of labor rights and in the Constitution of the United States is interpreted to mean both the freedom to assemble and the freedom to join an association.[2][not in citation given]
      The United States Constitution explicitly provides for ‘the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances’ in the First Amendment.
       

  6. Tia Will

    BP

    They’re trespassing, have been asked nicely to leave, the admin has been more than patient, they’re still there a month later so it’s time for them to pay the price for their actions.”

    The Chancellor broke a rule and was ( at least initially) politely asked to resign. She refused to do so. Since her infraction doubtless cost far more ( I believe that she would have received $70,000 in compensation from DeVry had she stayed on the board) than the protesters have cost, why are you giving her a break, but saying that the protestors should be held accountable ?   Could it be that you believe that her rule breaking is excusable because she is rich and powerful ?  Otherwise, why are not both sides equally culpable for their wrong doing in your eyes ?

  7. shane

    David Greenwald: “No one wants to answer this question: why remove signs posted by protesters unless you want to get in the middle of the dispute – that’s what happened.”

    They didn’t want to be in the middle of the dispute.  They wanted to use the restroom without having men walking in on them.  Is that so difficult for you to understand, David?  The signs were put up illegally.  In any other place, it would be considered sexual harassment for men to enter a women’s restroom with women there.  Do you think that this paradigm automatically changes — that they won’t feel harassed after all – because the signs were illegally put up by protestors?  If you, David, believe in unisex restrooms, do you think you would get a pass by putting a sign over the women’s restroom sign that says “gender-neutral restroom” and then walking in?  Would the women inside the restroom look at the sign and say, “oh, well now that it’s a gender-neutral restroom, come on in”?

    They didn’t want to be in the middle of the dispute.  They just wanted to be left alone.  Period.   There’s the answer to your question.

    1. Barack Palin

      Yes Shane, good reply.  This would be like saying if your lunch got stolen everyday at school it’s not the fault of the person stealing it it’s your fault for bringing one.

      1. David Greenwald

        It’s not. This was a sign. The staff could have ignored the sign. If the staff saw the wrong gender in the bathroom, they could have called the police. They have could have called the police to ask them to take the signs down themselves. Instead they tried to handle it themselves – that was unwise. You’re pointing to Facebook posts – were any of the Facebook posts by the protesters inside MRAK? Do you know?

        1. shane

          Really?  Blaming the women?  Pathetic.

          PS – the Facebook photos/videos – and now Davis Vanguard photos/videos – were taken by the protestors outside the women’s restroom on the 5th floor of Mrak.

        2. The Pugilist

          I don’t see anyone blaming the women.  What I see is people arguing that it could have and probably should have been handled differently and more delicately.  The protesters saw the take down of the signs as an affront to their efforts for inclusiveness, the staff saw it as a potential hazard, neither side paid enough mind to how the other side would react.

          But I agree with Tia, this is being used by BP and Shane to divert the discussion, so I suggest we stop talking about that.

    2. David Greenwald

      There are a few things here.

      First, was the objection to men using the women’s room, or transgender individuals?
      Second, I think you illustrate exactly why they should not have intervened and removed the sign. If there was a dispute, the appropriate body to handle that dispute would have been the police.

      1. hpierce

        So if there is a “dispute” between the protesters and the Chancellor, “the police” is the appropriate response?  Think.   Most have opined that the “potty thing” is ancillary to the main point… a distraction… so you would have had the UC police come in on the sign issue, but not on the “occupation” issue?  The issues that are being protested?  Think.

        1. David Greenwald

          Once it became a confrontation, the proper course would have been to back off and let the authorities handle it. Again – why provoke a confrontation here? Yes, I know this was an inconvenience, but everyone is being inconvenienced in this anyway. Go to the fourth floor if you are that uncomfortable or yes, call the police and let them figure out the proper way to handle it.

          1. David Greenwald

            Really because you can’t even answer a simple question – you don’t know who posted the Facebook post. The question is how the bathroom matter should’ve been handled and you seem to think it was handled correctly by staff whereas I don’t

        2. hpierce

          So, having the UC Police getting involved is less of a confrontation than an employee?  Will remember that opinion/position… I always favored person-to-person, rather than ‘armed’ confrontations… but that’s just me…

          Guess the police should have gotten involved earlier in the Quad incident… yet, the employees taking down the signs were not probably carrying pepper spray… yeah, you’re right… UC police should have dealt with the sign issue… much better… and better fodder for future blog issues…

          1. David Greenwald

            The best solution would’ve been just leave it alone. Just as it would’ve been in the quad when the pepper spray occurred. But, If they felt the need to confront then taking the matter into their own hand was absolutely the wrong thing to do.

        3. Barack Palin

          Hpierce, you know damn well if the police had gotten involved in this matter all Hell would’ve broken loose with accusations of homophobia and strong arming and who knows what else.

          Then I’m sure we’d be hearing that all staff had to do was rip down the signs and use the bathrooms and that they didn’t need to call the police.

          1. David Greenwald

            You’re missing my point. The preferred solution would been to leave the signs up and let the protesters do what they’re doing. However if the staff felt the need to confront them they shouldn’t of done it by themselves.

        4. hpierce

          BP (8:57 post)… duh… thought that was a point I was trying to make [see all my posts on this]… obviously, was ineffective…  as are the “occupiers”… they are clueless as to how to change things… seems more like a “love-in”…

           

    3. Tia Will

      Shane

      I understand your point about the restrooms. Clearly there were those who were offended by the change in signage. However there are always alternatives. Would it for instance have been so difficult to take down the sign while in the restroom if it made one uncomfortable, and replace it when exiting ? Would it have been too onerous to have a conversation explaining your intent ?

      I wonder if you will take a moment to answer a question for me.

      I have had, prior to leaving the Davis MOB, several individuals in my practice who were part way through the process of transitioning from” female to male. The only part of the transition not completed for some was the actual genital surgery. So here you have an individual who dresses, has the musculature, facial hair, and voice of a male……and female genitalia.

      So my question for you is which gender specific restroom should this individual choose ? Do you believe that the same women who felt the need to take down the signs will be comforted by using the same restroom as this individual ? Some lawmakers ( although not in this state) are trying to pass laws making it illegal for such an individual to use the male restroom even though all appearances would lead to that choice. Perhaps what is really needed here is for both sides to take a close look at the full implications of our current practices ( much was done with the labeling of water fountains by race) and considering how best to move forward given our changing times and issues.

      In any case, this issue should never have become a major rallying point. It was a strategic error on the part of the posters which has distracted from the much broader issue of the greed that is driving the departure from the “public” in our public higher education system.

      1. shane

        “So my question for you is which gender specific restroom should this individual choose ? Do you believe that the same women who felt the need to take down the signs will be comforted by using the same restroom as this individual?”

        I don’t have an answer because I think it’s up to each individual to decide. My opinion doesn’t matter and has no standing, and I wouldn’t impose my opinion on anyone anyway.  It used to be that men and women at universities were housed in different dorm buildings.  Then they were on different floors within the same building.  Then they had rooms next to each other.  In my sci-fi mind there will come a day when most bathrooms, shower rooms, etc. will be unisex and single-sex rooms will be the exception (ever see Starship Troopers?).  But we’re far from there now.  So in the meantime, people have to be protected.

        Rhetorical questions like “Would it for instance have been so difficult to take down the sign while in the restroom if it made one uncomfortable, and replace it when exiting ? Would it have been too onerous to have a conversation explaining your intent?”  miss the point.  We’re not the people affected, and we have to be sensitive to the needs and feelings the women at that place and time had, not our own opinions.

        We can keep debating the issues of the protest, and we’ll find that there isn’t one side that is 100% right or 100% wrong.  But I have yet to read a compelling defense of why protestors (or those sympathetic to the protestors) and the Vanguard feel it is appropriate to post the photos/videos of the affected women.  You may disagree with their taking down the signs, but publicly shaming/humiliating them is, to me, indefensible.

        1. South of Davis

          shane wrote:

          > publicly shaming/humiliating them is, to me, indefensible.

          You are new to the Vanguard so you may not know bullying and publicly shaming or humiliating is only “indefensible” if the person being bullied, shamed or humiliated has views left of center.  Even if a woman is a liberal feminist who supports Clinton and gay marriage her “right of center” view that there should be woman’s bathrooms in the workplace is “trans-phobic” and makes her fair game for any and all bullying shaming and humiliation according to most (but not all) in the “progressive” far left…

  8. Tblumenfeld

    I applaud the integrity of the students occupying Mrak Hall, protesting the ethical improprieties, authorized police actions, and nepotistic faculty relations created by Chancellor Katehi.  These students are taking the greatest personal risk for the betterment of a public university.

    I find the rhetoric of some of the commentators to be so far below the moral standard exhibited by these students as to appear churlish. The discussions and concerns about bathroom signage, garbage, and occupation of property that is not the students recalls the same comments made about the students at UC Berkeley in the 1960’s – except at that time there would have been comments about long haired hippies.

    The discussion should be about the actions of an individual who ideally would represent the students, yet instead represents the corporation that is this public university.

  9. shane

    Really because you can’t even answer a simple question – you don’t know who posted the Facebook post.”  But we know who posted the photos/videos on the Vanguard, don’t we?

    1. David Greenwald

      Fair enough. So you’re only complaint against the protesters is that they videoed staff removing the signs and posted it on Facebook. You don’t know the origins of the derogatory comments. For that action you and others now consider the protesters bullies.

      I spent a good deal of time with them on Monday night working on this story. I see a bunch of young and committed protesters. They believe that the Chancellor’s actions were unethical, especially in light of her base salary. They are committed to sticking out the protest. Based on what I saw, I don’t see a bunch of bullies, I see people who are trying to effect change. The restroom incident could have been avoided by both sides, it was probably unfortunate, but should not define the totality of the protesters or what they are about.

  10. Anon

    Tia: “The Chancellor broke a rule and was ( at least initially) politely asked to resign. She refused to do so. Since her infraction doubtless cost far more ( I believe that she would have received $70,000 in compensation from DeVry had she stayed on the board) than the protesters have cost, why are you giving her a break, but saying that the protestors should be held accountable ?   Could it be that you believe that her rule breaking is excusable because she is rich and powerful ?  Otherwise, why are not both sides equally culpable for their wrong doing in your eyes ?”

    The Chancellor was asked to resign by students, who have absolutely no authority on the issue.  The protestors, on the other hand, have chosen to occupy Mrak Hall and disrupt business taking place there, which is patently illegal.  The UCD Chancellor does have the authority to have them removed.  There are more appropriate places to protest on campus that would not be disruptive.  I am sympathetic to the student’s viewpoint, but not their method of protesting.  Furthermore, they have clearly stated they are more upset about the privatization of the UC system, which should be more appropriately aimed at UC President Napolitano and the state legislature.

    1. Barack Palin

      Good post Anon, I fully agree.  Whatever Katehi has done doesn’t make her responsible for the illegal acts of others.   If the Tea Party took over part of the Capital building because they were protesting Hillary lying about Benghazi would Tia be deflecting the responsibility on Hillary.  I doubt it.

  11. Alan Miller

    I doubt asking Napalitano, who refused to fire Katehi, to fire Katehi, is a fruitful avenue.

    Demanding of the State legislature to fire Napalitano would be much more fruitful.

  12. ContextMatters

    Look, these students have boxed themselves into a corner and all the adults supporting their cause (but unwilling to spend their days and nights in Mrak) have helped that happen.

    You can’t keep calling for resignation when the Regents, who are appointed by the Gov, have expressed support, and Napalitano, who is appointed by the Regents, has expressed support. At this point, no matter what comes out (David), I dont think she will resign (even if she wanted to) – it would look bad for the President/Regents and Gov (contrary to many of the opinions expressed here, there are LOTs of people supporting her).

    Supporters of the protesters need to give the students a way out, with dignity. Instead of supporting their right to sit there, help them find  principles of negotiation that make UC Davis better. No one wants UCD to fail, least of all Katehi and the City of Davis. We need UCD and it needs to be the best possible image of good civics that we can help make it.

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