Wednesday, December 27, 2006

UCLA Taser Forum

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Gotta love students' sense of activism (from the Daily Bruin 12/7):

UCLA officials held a town hall-style discussion Wednesday night to facilitate conversation between students and university officials regarding the Nov. 14 Taser incident.


But student turnout was sparse, with nine students present throughout the course of the discussion.

Evan Shulman, a third-year cognitive science student, attributed the low turnout to dead week and finals. "As a resident assistant I tried to get my floor to attend, but most told me they were too busy to come," Shulman said.

The forum was organized by the faculty-in-residence program, and if theirs is anything like ours here at Berkeley, it's small and works closely only with the residence halls and the career center. This event was likely only advertised in the halls for residents, but the numbers in attendance are still telling. Here's an event allowing for students to speak their minds in a forum slightly more important than an online message board, and for students to hear officials comment and debate what happened and explain their positions on the matter, and yet only a handful of students take advantage of it. I almost want to attribute it to facebook activism and the general apathy of our peers, but there were also successful on-campus protests that drew large crowds, so I don't think that's it.

Is it obstinacy? Perhaps. A couple of cops make a bad judgment call and the entire conglomerate of officials at UCLA are all taken down a peg. Students might not respect their opinions, and might not think it effective to even communicate with the older folks about the issue. Given the pending investigation, that's all that can be done and so trying to reason with idiots is a waste of time. This viewpoint won't help win any debates or convince anyone, but it might not matter for students. And if college students are this obstinate at this point in their lives, just think of what will happen when they get old, cranky, and lose their sense of open-mindedness. *shudder*

Is the issue just plain dead? Perhaps. The taser incident happened over a month ago. Do students just not care anymore, or think that the poor tasing of one of their brothers takes the silver when competing against that approaching calculus final? If our generation is that quick to forget, our future is still looking grim.

Did students realize they were wrong to judge the police so quickly and decide to call off la résistance? I doubt it.

None of the students in attendance actually spoke during the discussion. Instead, they listened to faculty members and university officials.

...and thought up more inane protest cheers about not tasing them for forgetting their IDs.

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