The Daily Californian Online

Some Say Additional Analysis of Report Is Necessary as Questions Arise Regarding Timing of Report's Release

By Emma Anderson
Daily Cal Staff Writer
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Category: News > University > Academics and Administration

As members of the campus community begin to digest the daunting 128-page report on the events of Nov. 20 released Wednesday, renewed discussion on the contentious day has prompted hesitancy in some to draw conclusions and assertions from others that a further review is required.

Though the release of the campus Police Review Board's report did not come as a surprise to some students and faculty involved in the events surrounding the events of Nov. 20, many said they did not know a report would be released until the day of.

"I completely forgot about it, it had been so long," said Zachary Levenson, a graduate student and one of those who occupied Wheeler Hall. "If I didn't know about it as a student involved, I'm not sure who else would."

Students and faculty interviewed said they needed time to read the report in its entirety before drawing conclusions, some more optimistic about what they would find than others.

Gregory Levine, a history of art professor who was involved in mediations during the protest, said from what he had read so far, the report appeared thorough, but there needed to be further discussion, perhaps within the campus division of the Academic Senate, on the role of faculty and student leaders.

Levine and others said the campus's handling of the 10-day hunger strike that ended May 12 cast doubt on whether the administration had learned anything since Nov. 20 and whether the report would provide something new.

When hunger strikers and supporters marched to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's campus residence May 10, UCPD called in outside police, many outfitted in riot gear.

"They said this report was coming out, but even at the hunger strike they were threatening students, dressed in riot gear," said Ricardo Gomez, ASUC external affairs vice president. "I hope they take the report's recommendations seriously that they need better communication and to be less aggressive."

Releasing the report during the summer, when most of the campus community may be away, raised skepticism in faculty and students interviewed, though all said they understood the "daunting" amount of work the board faced in its review.

However, the board experienced a delay when it was forced to wait until UCPD finished its own internal review. The board had initially expected to finish its report by May 31, but the department did not finish until late March - seven weeks later than expected - putting the review board behind schedule.

Though the report was posted publicly on the campus news website, a campus-wide e-mail was not sent out announcing the release, which Levenson said made him more skeptical about the timing of the release.

"I'm not sure what took so long," he said. "Clearly this kind of thing takes time, but I wonder if it was a strategic decision."

Some said they only had some notion that the report would soon be released because they had been interviewed by the board.

However, the number of those interviewed compared to the number of those involved in the day's events is small. Of the estimated 2,000 people who gathered during the day, the board interviewed 25, according to Wayne Brazil, board chair and professor at the Boalt Hall School of Law. Including interviews from UCPD's own review, the board used descriptions from about 75 witnesses.

The analysis acknowledges that this scarcity in interviews impacted the board's ability to understand the entire scope of the event, but few people responded to requests for information.

ASUC Senator-elect Elliot Goldstein said emotion surrounding his altercation with police on Nov. 20 made him reluctant to come forward.

"That was a case I didn't go through with reporting just because of the emotional (aspect)," he said. "I didn't want to get wrapped up going through the paperwork to get one case put forward."



Clarification: A previous version of this article identified Elliot Goldstein as an ASUC Senator. Though elected in the spring, senators begin their terms the first day of the fall semester.



Article Link: http://archive.dailycal.org/article/109668