Update from the GSO’s Request for Investigation About Administrative Actions Toward TGB

On March 26th, 2015, Patrick Neary, the GSO president, sent this letter to the Chancellor regarding his inadequate response to the GSO’s official request for an investigation about administrative actions toward THE General Body:

On February 18, 2015 your response to GSO Senate Resolution 15.13, calling for an investigation of administrative actions toward the General Body, was put before the GSO Senate for discussion. The GSO Senate would like to thank you for your response to this resolution, which was both extensive and thoughtful. We appreciate the time you have taken to respond to our concerns, and understand your letter as a token of your commitment to cooperating with the democratic institutions of our university.

With that understanding in place, there was some debate among the GSO Senate regarding your response. Extensive as your letter is, there are a few lingering concerns that the senate would like to bring to your attention. In general, we had hoped to see more insight from students who were involved in the sit in. Our expectation was that your investigation might have sought out their testimony and incorporated it into your findings more clearly. Moreover, we note that you have asserted that DPS and your administrative team were acting in the interest of student safety. While student safety is indeed an important goal, it is not clear that it is an end that justifies the means. This is especially true when some of the means, like photographing sleeping protestors, undermine the rights and dignity of our students, making them worry for their own privacy and safety at the hands of those who were supposed to protect them. Finally, there have been troubling reports of students being likened to violent criminals in administrative training. If this is true, it would have troubling implications regarding our university’s commitment to free speech, a value which is foundational to shared democratic governance and academic freedom.

Informed by this debate, the GSO Senators unanimously resolved to draft this letter to you, respectfully requesting that you take further action. In our original resolution, we asked that you arrange an open forum where the university community can discuss the concerns outlined in the resolution with you. We ask that you please move forward with this open forum, selecting a time in coordination with the GSO. We also ask that you reopen your investigation into your administrative team’s response to the student protests. We ask that this investigation be conducted by a team that includes volunteer representatives of the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty bodies in addition to representatives from the administration to ensure a balanced approach. This team should provide a written report addressing concerns about the conduct of the administration and DPS in the handling of the protest.

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