Thursday, June 30, 2011
OSC Loses Another One, Executive Edition
As we've mentioned before, under normal circumstances we're in total solidarity with the workers at the UC. After all, they're getting hit hardest by the university's austerity measures. And in many ways they've been far more reliable allies than the faculty.
But it's like cops. They're workers, but they've picked the wrong line of work. UCPD has one of most important jobs in the UC system right now, at least from the perspective of corporatized UC managers: behind every austerity measure stands a line of riot cops. But UCPD is only part of the story. The Office of Student Conduct (OSC) is its necessary counterpart, the quasi-judicial arm of the university's repressive apparatus.
Right now, seeing as how it's summer and all, we don't feel inspired enough to once again go into all the backstory about how OSC has been a complete failure, violated its own rules of procedure, violated students' privacy and constitutional rights, and generally made a mockery of itself. You can read about some of that here if you're curious.
But we wanted to bring you some pretty juicy news about OSC. Now, to put things in a little bit of context, the Code of Student Conduct has gone through a long process of review and revision, based on all the very clear problems that came up during the university's attempt to railroad student protesters who were active in occupations and direct actions that took place in fall 2009. The Task Force (which, it must be noted, is dominated by administrators like Harry Le Grande who have the final authority over any changes) has finished and submitted its final report to the administrators. We have a copy of the report, and we're hoping to make it public along with some critical analysis soon.
In the meantime, we've just been informed by a very reliable source that Susan Trageser, the head of OSC and Assistant Dean of Students, is no longer working for the university. We were pretty happy when OSC prosecutor Laura Bennett lost her job, because she was the face of OSC for many of the students who were subjected to the absurd pseudo-judicial process. But Trageser, the director of the entire operation, is another story. Her name is peppered throughout pretty much every record regarding student conduct, and she is the object of many of the grievances that have been filed against OSC and the university. She represented OSC during the notorious public forum in February 2010, where she made a fool of herself ("laughter" is sprinkled throughout the transcript) and deployed the bureaucratic excuse of "administrative error" to defend herself from criticism. Trageser was the one running the show, and in the end it's not particularly surprising that she lost her job.
This means that the Campus Rights Project (CRP), which took on the role of defending students in these cases, has at this point successfully eliminated two of the three people running OSC. The only one left is the utterly incompetent Jeff Woods. To be honest, we would have expected Jeff to lose his job before Trageser. We would probably have bet good money on it. But now Jeff is the last one standing, the most senior person at OSC. Will he become the director? Will he collapse under the pressure? Stay tuned to find out...