The Berkeley Faculty Association condemns the violent attack on the Chancellor’s house on Friday, December 11th. We also condemn all other acts of violence that have been, or may have been, committed by students, police, and outsiders participating in, trying to control, or terminate the recent demonstrations against UC and campus administrator’s responses to the budget cuts. BFA shares the demonstrators’ concerns about the fee hikes, class room cuts, library closures, and staff layoffs and furloughs that have characterized UC’s response to the current financial crisis. However, we believe it is morally wrong to use violent means to express or advance positions.
The BFA is committed to helping the university community work to restore the university’s ability to meet the goals of the Master Plan for Higher Education: to provide affordable, high quality college educations to all of California’s qualified students. We endorse the recommendation faculty made to the administration following the November 20th demonstrations requesting the formation of a response group, composed of leaders of the campus administration, campus police chief, and the faculty and student communities to be available for consultation in the events of protests, demonstrations, building takeovers, and other actions. We believe that such a response group would enable a mode of response that would help defuse the increasingly mutually hostile dynamic of student-administration interaction that is corroding the ability of administrators and students to achieve shared goals.
We therefore urgently request that campus administrators meet with representatives of BFA and SAVE to discuss a path for forming such a response group.
We also support Chris Kutz’s proposal that faculty, students, and administrators move quickly to organize a rally against violence and for dialogue.
Wendy Brown and Chris Rosen
Co-Chairs, Berkeley Faculty Association