Today I published an op-ed on The Progressive calling universities to condemn the recent violence against peaceful students exercising their right to freedom of speech and assembly.
Since the time I drafted that article (nine days ago, a day after the disastrous events at UC Davis), many individual faculty members and entire universities have come out and publicly denounced such acts.
I think of Professor Cathy N. Davidson at Duke’s English Department who published a similar article on The Chronicle of Higher Education.
It comes to mind Professor Matthew Smith at Yale’s Department of Philosophy who wrote an open letter to chancellors and presidents of American universities not just deploring the recent disproportionate use of violence in our campuses, but also calling for the creation of ‘Safe Protest Zones’ at every single campus (a letter that was also edited in a show of great collaboration through feedback from the Arts, Politics, Philosophy, Science blog).
I also think of the faculty at CUNY.
All these actions have been extremely productive. However, many universities (for instance, the institution I currently attend) still have yet to publicly denounce these acts of student repression.
Let’s keep an eye to future responses from university administrators and university police to the ongoing student movements in the U.S.