Thursday, March 17, 2011

Student Conduct and Terrorism, Part 2 October, we reported on a proposal to incorporate into official UCOP policy on student conduct a specific violation of the Code that would be classified as "terrorism." Originally, it was going to be brought up at last November's Regents' meeting, but for some reason it wasn't addressed there. At the time, we thought it was because it was so ridiculous; but we have to keep reminding ourselves that the UC administration and the regents work hard to outdo themselves at every chance they get. On that note, at today's Regents' meeting, a "terrorism" clause was officially adopted into the "Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students." Here's the full text of the new sections:

Section 102.24: Conduct, where the actor means to communicate a serious expression of intent to terrorize, or acts in reckless disregard of the risk of terrorizing, one or more University students, faculty, or staff. ‘Terrorize’ means to cause a reasonable person to fear bodily harm or death, perpetrated by the actor or those acting under his/her control. ‘Reckless disregard’ means consciously disregarding a substantial risk. This section applies without regard to whether the conduct is motivated by race, ethnicity, personal animosity, or other reasons. This section does not apply to conduct that constitutes the lawful defense of oneself, of another, or of property.
Section 104.90: Sanctions [for any violations of Section 102.00, Grounds for Discipline] may be enhanced where an individual was selected because of the individual’s race, color, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, ancestry, service in the uniformed services, physical or mental disability, medical condition, or perceived membership in any of these classifications.
Obviously this is a long-delayed response -- a year and a half after the fact -- to the property destruction at the Chancellor's house, which then-Governor Schwarzenegger called not only a "criminal act" but went as far as to label it "terrorism" itself. In fact, the text of these violations is almost exactly the same as what we posted last October -- the only difference is that where the new version uses "those acting under his/her control" the previous version read "his/her confederates." A strange word choice, admittedly.

But the question this raises is the following: when have members of the university community had cause to fear bodily harm or death, perpetrated by the actor or those acting under his/her control? Oh right, it was when the Chancellor invited the riot police onto campus, and they, acting under his control, hit us with clubs, shot us with pepper spray and rubber bullets, and aimed their guns at us. We know what this is all about.

It's like the budget cuts, where the highest-level administrators have declared themselves exempt: one set of rules applies to them, another one applies to the rest of us.


  1. so shall we prosecute the chancellor for ordering to terrorize thousands of students? well except, they are, of course, exempt from the "code"

  2. That's exactly the point. Obviously the chancellor can't be prosecuted under the code of student conduct (It's interesting too to note that there's a code of faculty conduct, but as far as I know there's no code of administrative conduct). But the language they're using to talk about "terrorism" literally exactly describes what happens when the administration invites cops onto campus. In a sense, this fits pretty well with our analysis of the administration's very specific use of the compound noun "health and safety." It's not just that different language is used to describe different actors -- it's that those languages actually describe different mechanisms or technologies of control.

  3. Harvard kicked ROTC off campus because the military discriminate(d) against GLBTQ (and subsequently let them back on campus after DADT was repealed).

    Does the UC now have to get rid of all military (nukes!?!), criminology, foreign policy, and other research and/or organizations?