"I'm a Student Don't Taser Me!"

I don’t know how many of you have already heard this story.  It came out a while back, and I had prepared a post, but never got around to pubishing it.  There have been a few developments since the original incident.  Here is the story:

The campus police at UCLA apparently, asked a student named Mostafa Tabatabainejad to leave the campus library because he didn’t have an ID card. When Tabatabainejad, did not leave at the pace the officers wanted, they approached him and grabbed his arm. When the student objected to being grabbed, they apparently tased him. Here’s a quote from the UCLA Daily Bruin:

Neither the video footage nor eyewitness accounts of the events confirmed that Tabatabainejad encouraged resistance, and he repeatedly told the officers he was not fighting and would leave.

Tabatabainejad was walking with his backpack toward the door when he was approached by two UCPD officers, one of whom grabbed the student’s arm. In response, Tabatabainejad yelled at the officers to “get off me.” Following this demand, Tabatabainejad was stunned with a Taser.

UCPD and the UCLA administration would not comment on the specifics of the incident as it is still under investigation.

In a statement released Wednesday, Interim Chancellor Norman Abrams said investigators were reviewing the situation and the officers’ actions.

“I can assure you that these reviews will be thorough, vigorous and fair,” Abrams said.

The incident, which Zaragoza described as an example of “police brutality,” left many students disturbed.

“I realize when looking at these kind of arrest tapes that they don’t always show the full picture. … But that six minutes that we can watch just seems like it’s a ridiculous amount of force for someone being escorted because they forgot their BruinCard,” said Ali Ghandour, a fourth-year anthropology student.

“It certainly makes you wonder if something as small as forgetting your BruinCard can eventually lead to getting Tased several times in front of the library,” he added.

Edouard Tchertchian, a third-year mathematics student, said he was concerned that the student was not offered any other means of showing that he was a UCLA student.

I first saw the video on Keth Olbermann about 6 weeks ago. You can watch it in its entirety here. It’s pretty scary, but I do have to say that I am somewhat impressed with the students reaction to the police. They questioned the police, and the video itself was recorded on a camera phone.

Since the original incident the student has sued the University and the officers. According to the LA Times:

The UCLA student who was stunned with a Taser gun by campus police when he refused to show his identification filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday alleging that his civil rights were violated and that police acted in a brutal fashion.

In the 16-page suit, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23, sued the university, campus police and half a dozen officers, claiming they used excessive force and violated the Americans With Disabilities Act in the Nov. 14 incident in Powell Library. The suit states that Tabatabainejad has bipolar disorder.

In earlier reports, the student said that he felt he was singled out because of his Middle Eastern appearance, and since that time I haven’t heard anything else about the racial/ethnic aspects of the case. 

While I think the police reation was excessive and the ethno-racial aspects of the case are troubling, my initial reaction was surprise at the University policy.

As an academic, I find the police behaviour unacceptable, and I am not only disappointed by the police behavior, but I am also concerned about the “random” checks for student IDs in the UCLA library. I have spent time in the libraries of  Universities: Northwestern University (albeit about 16 year ago), University of Detroit Mercy, Shawnee State University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Connecticut, and Long Island University, and I have never been subjected to a random check.  The only times I remember any libraries being vigilant about checking people is the bag check that many of them conduct when you leave. I guess they are worried about people running off with books.  Moreover, any public university should have an open access policy to their libraries.  I understand if they do not want everyone to be able to check out books, but given that much of their funding is from tax payer dollars they should allow community members into the library to look at books, maps, magazines, journals, and other materials.  Most of the university libraries I have been to allow the general public to enter the library, and I don’t see why this school should be different.  Of course, with the particular student in question this is a moot point since he was a student anyways, but I worry about many of the new restrictions imposed on libraries in the past few years.  I don’t think the state needs to know what books I check out of the library, and I don’t think they need to act a gatekeepers at the library door.  (Gee, I feel like I’m stuck in a Ray Bradbury novel– Farenheit 451, anyone?)  

What do you think?  What policies are appropriate for University libraries?

Here is the original story from Inside Higher Edu.

The Student Retains a Lawyer

Original Story from LA Times

Daily Bruin Covers Student Protests after the Taser Incident.

Student Paper Editorial Against Excessive Force

Student Defends Police Actions (Send Your Favorite Rodney King Jokes)

American Library Association Responds to the Taser Case

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27 Responses to "I'm a Student Don't Taser Me!"

  1. Pingback: feminist blogs

  2. 2
    SamChevre says:

    My recollection of the UCLA policy from earlier reports on this case is that the libraries are freely available to the public until late at night (10 or 11 pm), after which they are only open for students. The ID check is at the time when they close to the public.

    I don’t want libraries to be restricted to “only the right people”, but I can see a restriction during late-night hours as possibly justified by safety concerns (since I would imagine that staff is very limited during the night.)

  3. 3
    EJ says:

    I live in Boston, home to many great Universities. In general, they are open to the public and have very good inter-library agreements between different schools, making research a lot easier. Harvard is the one exception- they do not do inter-library loan and there are strict rules about who can enter the library and look at books. it’s a major pain, and i think totally unjustified. But then, Harvard is very interested in maintaining its reputation as an elite institution. snobs.

  4. 4
    Penn says:

    Some libraries have to restrict access to the online databases they subscribe to–the terms of their subscription may require limiting access to only faculty, staff, and students. At UCLA, they used to have little slots atop the monitor screens, where you were supposed to prop your Bruin card (campus ID) while you were working, to prove you were entitled to be using the databases. (I think since they switched the flatscreens, the slots have disappeared, not sure.) I’ve also been asked to produce ID at the entrance of the law library at UCLA, in midday, presumably for the same reasons. It’s a real barrier for independent scholarship–but I don’t know what the solution is.

    Another element of this incident is that one of the involved officers has several accusations of excessive force on his record already, and he was almost dismissed from the campus police for using excessive force way back in 1990:

    http://blogging.la/archives/2006/11/ucla_taser_incident_just_keeps.phtml

  5. 5
    Rachel S. says:

    Penn said, “Some libraries have to restrict access to the online databases they subscribe to–the terms of their subscription may require limiting access to only faculty, staff, and students.”

    That’s an interesting point because my impression is that generally speaking library are much more restritive about computer lab access than they are about general access. They will let anybody use the computer with the general catalogue, but they restrict lab access.

  6. 6
    Myca says:

    This just makes me sick and angry. I’ve long thought that this is another side of age discrimination that is too rarely discussed (not that, honestly, discrimination against the old is discussed all that often, or anything).

    In my experience, the police can often get away with treating teenagers or young adults in ways that nobody would ever put up with them treating full adults . . . harassment, abuse, etc. It’s all okay, because they’re just kids, and after all, kids should respect authority, etc, etc, etc.

  7. 7
    Radfem says:

    Well, I’m especially cynical about the law enforcement profession today after the bullshit meeting this morning I attended, but anyway.

    I blogged about this quite a bit when it first happened, mostly from the police aspect of the case which is appalling. A lot came out particularly the disturbing history of the officer in question. He failed probation at Long Beach Police Department for in his words, failure to write adequate reports and geography problems which are pretty bogus excuses. Departments invest a tremendous amount of money and time on each new hire so if an officer had these problems, they would get remedial instruction. Then he got fired at UCLA and reinstated after filing a law suit. I think it was the beating of the fraternity member which I believe was after his officer-involved shooting of a homeless man in a bathroom.

    So this is an officer with serious problems, employed by an agency that is aware of them.

    To get fired once, is unusual enough although in California, it’s not that difficult for an officer to get reinstated through arbitration if they are terminated. Usually, cities pay them off in disability retirements, which opens up a can of worms in whether that’s a legitimate use of those types of retirements which often are extremely difficult for employees who are disabled to get themselves. This guy was basically fired twice.

    Controversy also arose because not all of the U.C. campuses have tasers and most of them do not use them against passive resisters. In fact, many law enforcement agencies have policies that state not to use them that way, though there’s a difference between what’s written and what’s actually done in the field. UCLA’s policy does allow them to be used against passive resisters which is wrong. This was clearly excessive force and the video shows how officers threatened the witnesses as well.

    The officer was Black, but that still doesn’t eliminate ethnic or racial profiling because police departments are still primarily White up to management positions and they all practice to varying degrees racial profiling against people of color. What they call that behavior differs from one agency to the next.

  8. 8
    Rachel S. says:

    What is a geography problem?

  9. 9
    curiougyrl says:

    Perhaps this is unique to NYC, but I noticed a much higher level of restriction of services and public access at nearly all NYC universities and libraries after 9-11

  10. 10
    Radfem says:

    I don’t know, if it was something to do with not knowing how to navigate his way through Long Beach or if it’s something he just made up. It wouldn’t be the first time. Hiring laterals is always tricky business because the hiring agencies aren’t privy to all the information in their records and the agencies who these employees are working for, will lie if necessary to get them out of their agencies if they are bad news, by claiming they are great employees.

  11. 11
    Original Lee says:

    Maybe his geography problem was that he couldn’t correctly interpret maps, which would lead to him arriving very late to the scene on a consistent basis. Not that it’s a valid excuse.

  12. 12
    Nomen Nescio says:

    episodes like this one always seem to split blog commenters into two polarized camps, in my experience. one group of people seems willing to think badly of police officers, and assume officer misconduct by default; another group seems equally willing to accept any use of force by an officer as justified by default. there seems unusually little middle ground. it’ll be interesting, to me, to see how the regular crowd at this particular blog splits up; when this got discussed on Pharyngula a few months ago, the division there was fairly typical.

    my own opinion? it’s always possible that a multiple tazering might have been justified, and a bipolar person in a manic phase could very well behave badly enough to justify such. however, what with several eye-witnesses as well as security camera footage, i would think that behaviour so outrageous as to put this officer’s reaction in the right should be easy to document, in this case — and i haven’t seen nor even heard of any such documentation.

  13. 13
    FormerlyLarry says:

    Don’t poke the bear. The kid was a idiot for not complying, but the cops over reacted with the taser and should have just picked him up or dragged him out instead. The smart-ass kid will get rich, the slimy lawyers will get richer, and the bad cops will not be cops anymore.

  14. 14
    Radfem says:

    Yes, it’s true that multiple tasings can be justified in accordance with a police department’s use of force policy, but using tasers, either in the probe mode or in the drive stun or contact tase mode(which is without the cartridge) is always problematic in different situations including with passive resisters. Multiple tasings of somone who is being tased multiple times multiplies that concern and he was only passively resisting as apparent on the video footage.

    It’s not problematic in terms of whether or not the UCLA officer was complying with that agency’s policy, because UCLA’s police department unlike most of the other UC’ agencies allows the tasing of passively resisting individuals. Most metropolitan agencies also don’t allow the tasing of passive resisters. My city and county’s agencies both explicitly prohibit it in their written policies governing the use of taser devices.

    With UCLA there is still the question of, was it necessary, and hopefully when this use of force incident came up for its review(and in many agencies incidents using force above a certain level on the force continum do), this issue will be addressed. It might cause the department to rethink its policy on tasing passive resisters. I suspect that if people are vigilant on this case and this issue, this will happen.

    On people who are actively resisting, tasers are still restricted from use on elderly individuals, minors(usually early teens or younger) and pregnant women unless lethal force is the only option. Though the majority of law enforcement agencies do not include these groups in their policies. I think about 1/5 prohibit the tasing of minors for example.

    But that’s policy issues. In my opinion, tasing a passive resister is akin to torturing them. It’s an officer reaching for a gadget because he or they are looking for a quick resolution that suits them. There’s a lot of articles online on taser usage, including a lengthy report by Amnesty International, one by the ACLU and a rebuttal to that one by Taser International, Inc.

    And this particular officer’s record which was revealed mostly because he chose to do so in response to questions by journalists, is pretty damn disturbing. Essentially two different law enforcement agencies terminated him, and one was forced to reinstate him. It’s tougher to keep officers fired in California than to fire them due to a fairly stacked arbitration system. Pretty much a felony criminal conviction on or off the job is the only way an officer will stay fired.

  15. 15
    Jean M. Beebe says:

    I’m wondering why there’s police presence at certain points of the day and not others. If it’s a security issue, and the library’s worried about “unwanted” visitors, they should know that those “unwanted” visitors, were they to inflict harm, would know that security’s less stringent during the day…

    We should consider what crimes are apt to be commited in libraries before we look into security options. Think it out before using a taser!

  16. 16
    SamChevre says:

    Jean,

    My assumption (and it may be wrong) is that the library is somewhat like my workplace.

    During the day, there are a fair number of security guards, and the workplace is full of people; it would be hard to do much without being noticed, and access controls are not very strict. After business hours, there are fewer security guards and many fewer people; access controls during that time are very strict.

  17. 17
    Q Grrl says:

    The kid was a idiot for not complying

    Unlike the 100+ idiots who were too intimidated by 4-5 police officers to step in and stop the incident from escalating. Since when are police officers not responsible to the public? Oh, right, it’s been a while.

    The kid had every right not to comply. The proof to that is how quickly the police resorted to force, rather than persuasion, to move him out.

  18. 18
    Radfem says:

    I think some intervened verbally including several who asked for identifying information and were threatened with tasing, after witnessing what that might be like. And the problem is that the police see “them” interfering with “us” and they will escalate the situation themselves. That’s why you rarely see intervention from anyone and it’s not because they’re idiots. They know what will happen to them, or if not them, their kids because often times it’s their kids who face the repercussions even in cases when their parents just speak out. The UCLA students may not be familiar with these experiences and maybe they grew up, especially if they are White and middle-class that officers are to be respected and trusted and counted on, but after seeing this, their perspective is really going to be irrevocably changed probably forever, because often it takes that one experience that you either undergo yourself or you see in front of you to do that.

    I’ve known people including friends whose kids were beaten nearly to death by other people in front of police officers who did nothing or they were warned to tell their parents not to speak out anymore. And my friend’s son tried to intervene when an officer was kicking a man on the ground and just missed arrest, getting an unjustified loitering ticket instead. Another friend of mine who is active just had her son get beat up by police officers, who are still clueless about the fact that a person of color can act “strangely” without being on drugs, they can be mentally ill or mentally disabled. This individual was both.

    As for holding them accountable, well, that’s very difficult because it’s really a systemic thing, bigger than one neighborhood or one city. In my city, having the state force them in court to reform helped during the duration of that court-mandated period but once it was over, well they’re trying really hard to make it business as usual in ways that everyone notices and is talking about. It’s hard to watch people show you their true selves when they hid behind facades for a period of years. It just goes to show you should never ignore someone’s resume and you never, never ignore history.

    The police chief for example moved any progressive officer off of his management team and there were actually several and brought in several “old guard” racist, sexist officer(according to at least three men of color who were in the command staff during a five year period) he could find. One of them had been in mothballs for years during the mandated reform period and it wouldn’t take much to figure out why and on whose request. I’d tell you something else about someone else but another former officer accesses my site through Amp’s.

    They have done some things lately that the word questionable wouldn’t even begin to describe and anyone including myself is retaliated against, the latest way is their threat(by the police chief and city manager) to investigate me because of my writing and my blogging on a shooting, that’s the most I know because of course these individuals do not have the guts to say this to my face.

    This isn’t unique. It goes on all over the country. That’s part of why things are the way they are.

  19. 19
    FormerlyLarry says:

    Q GRRL: “Unlike the 100+ idiots who were too intimidated by 4-5 police officers to step in and stop the incident from escalating. Since when are police officers not responsible to the public? Oh, right, it’s been a while. The kid had every right not to comply. The proof to that is how quickly the police resorted to force, rather than persuasion, to move him out.”

    Every right to not comply with a legal order? Ya sure, the next time that you want to get on an airplane refuse to go thru the metal detector. Tell them that you don’t need to comply because they are responsible to you. It also might be helpful to remind them that you pay their salaries. Or the next time the cops try pull you over simply don’t comply and keep driving. Let us know how all that works out for you.

    IMHO really good cops are rare. It takes a special kind of person that can handle the authority over the general public without it changing them in negative ways. I am sure most people are familiar with the Stanford prison experiment and numerous other examples of how power effects many people. I think most people understand this. When you get pulled over by a cop and he hands you a ticket its probably better to say “Thank you sir, have a nice day!” rather than “Go to hell you fricken shitball pig!” Otherwise, he will probably start checking all your lights, horn, depth of you tire tread, and the cleanliness of you windows, etc.

  20. 20
    Rad Geek says:

    Radfem:

    But that’s policy issues. In my opinion, tasing a passive resister is akin to torturing them.

    Precisely. Except that it’s not even “akin to.” It just is torture.

    Using powerful electric shocks to inflict disabling pain on someone whose actions pose absolutely no physical threat, in order to coerce compliance with the officer’s demands, just is using torture to try to get what you want. Using repeated shocks on someone who is lying helpless on the ground is precisely the kind of official sadism that we’re familiar with from authoritarian regimes like Augusto Pinochet’s or or Saddam Hussein’s.

    Incidentally, how much you want to bet that here, as elsewhere, the campus cops will “review” the incident and decide that the problem is that they equipped the cops with tasers? Because, you know, out-of-control cops sure wouldn’t brutalize people by low-tech means like beating them or shooting them. Ha ha ha.

  21. 21
    Rad Geek says:

    FormerlyLarry:

    Every right to not comply with a legal order?

    Your remark presupposes that the legality of an order has any moral significance. Actually it doesn’t. The cops who, in earlier times, turned firehoses on peaceful marchers, dragged black students out of segregated lunch-counters, forced Japanese-Americans into internment camps, opened fire on striking workers, and enforced the Fugitive Slave Act against innocent people, were all issuing “legal” orders, too. And so what? They had no right to act that way, whatever the law said. And the people being thus targeted had every right not to comply with the orders.

    Let us know how all that works out for you.

    Of course it’s true that caving in to an abusive dickhead will often make things go better for you, for the time being, than insisting on your rights. But that has exactly nothing to do with what your rights in that situation are. That’s a question of power, not a question of right.

    IMHO really good cops are rare. It takes a special kind of person that can handle the authority over the general public without it changing them in negative ways.

    If the power that cops are given over ordinary badgeless people is so morally corrosive then maybe we ought to be talking about ways to reduce or to check that power, rather than looking down our nose at the behavior of the people victimized by it.

  22. 22
    Nomen Nescio says:

    Radfem:

    In my opinion, tasing a passive resister is akin to torturing them.

    even if it weren’t, it would be an abuse of power simply because it’s a pointless use of force. after all, the whole purpose of a taser is to disable a person by overloading their nerves with the electric shock, such that their muscles cramp up and leave them unable to struggle or fight back. disabling someone who doesn’t clearly need to be disabled, due to not being in a fight, is overusing force at best — and since getting tased is quite painful, there’s certainly a good argument for it being a form of torture. i’m not surprised to hear that many departments have official policies against tasing passive resisters; if anything, i suspect that the ones that lack such likely just take that for granted.

    i still think it’s possible that someone in the grip of a manic or dysphoric episode might have struggled and acted out violently enough to necessitating a tasing — but, again, one would think that that sort of good cause shouldn’t be too hard for the officer to document, if it existed. this officer surely must have known that, what with his checkered employment history, it would have been an excellent idea for him to be able to justify and document his every use of force while on duty; you’d think he would have thought a few more times before pulling out his taser.

    Q Grrl:

    The kid had every right not to comply. The proof to that is how quickly the police resorted to force, rather than persuasion, to move him out.

    with respect, this seems to me like you’re putting the cart before the horse. perhaps this person was justified in refusing to comply, but if so, i would think that his justification ought to have been something that happened before this officer badly overreacted (in my opinion) to his refusal to comply. or am i misunderstanding your logic?

  23. 23
    Radfem says:

    Tasers are tough for me because I don’t like them and I agree that it is torture on a passive-resisting person. Most agencies don’t have separate policies on drive stun vs probe tasing and that’s one reason why I think there is as much abuse on drive stun tasing as there is, but there’s more to this issue than I have time to write now.

    On the other hand, I have seen fatal shooting cases(as my city department’s shooting rate is fairly high, especially involving unarmed people as of late) where I wish they’d been tased instead just on a visceral level(not a logical, rational one but that’s a hard place to be in these instances) after seeing coroner photos and talking to family members who are so grief-stricken and they are the ones asking why not the baton, the taser, the less lethal munitions and so forth? What do you say to them?

    That’s something I hear over and over and over whether it’s hours after, days later at the funeral or even after that because dead is dead and dead sons and daughters, fathers and grandparents aren’t coming home even damaged. But they do it and say this in the face of all the abusive incidents of excessive force with batons, munitions, pepperspray and of course tasers, all of which the use are controversial. I guess it’s very common to try to hold onto any situation where your loved one could have lived.

    Tasing hurts a lot, excruciating if drive-stun and if it’s through probes, that’s 50,000 volts(though low amps) going through your body, overriding your CNS and muscle systems and in the newest model, giving every muscle in your body the command to contract simultaneously leaving you in a fetal position on the ground. That’s Taser International Inc.’s language.

    I’ve got a lot more to say on this issue but meetings for the next few hours addressing some of these issues, lol as in story of my life lol.

    But then thinking that way, opens up a whole new can of worms on why it’s an either/or situation in the minds of so many people and that’s the real topic of this thread in my opinion is to change the way at what policing should be and look like. Why people don’t think that there should be alternatives to these things, like verbal communication or in the case of the mentally ill, crisis intervention teams that are geared towards the mentally ill or incapacitated, not towards hostage taking(which is entirely different). Why there are so few good officers who will speak out, which is very true. That’s a big discussion to have.

    Lots of issues raised her I have more to say on when I have more time.

  24. 24
    sailorman says:

    Rad Geek Writes:
    January 24th, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Your remark presupposes that the legality of an order has any moral significance. Actually it doesn’t.

    Are you saying you don’t think legality and moral standards have any link?

    I think there’s a lot of non-overlap (not everything illegal is immoral, and not everything legal is moral, and so on…) but to a large degree, don’t you think that laws reflect society’s attempt to codify morality? The legality of an action doesn’t conclusively establish morality. But it does a fair bit to give a presumption, i suspect.

  25. 25
    Rad Geek says:

    sailorman:

    I think there’s a lot of non-overlap (not everything illegal is immoral, and not everything legal is moral, and so on…) but to a large degree, don’t you think that laws reflect society’s attempt to codify morality?

    Not really, for two different reasons. First, because the province of law is more narrow than the province of morality. (Not everything that’s widely considered wrong can or ought to be legally punishable. For example, it’s widely considered wrong to stiff a delivery worker on a tip if you have the money and there was nothing wrong with the delivery. But it isn’t, and certainly shouldn’t be, either civilly or criminally actionable. That’s just not the government’s job.) Secondly, because “societies” don’t make laws in the first place; governments do. Provided that the people in government come from roughly the same culture as the private citizens, there will tend to be some overlap between what the people in government and what the people out of government widely consider right or wrong. But if the internal culture of the government is skewed towards certain views, or if the people who enter the government tend to be skewed towards specific sub-cultures within the larger culture, then you can expect that skew to be reflected in a similar skew between the laws that are in place and the laws that most people think ought to be in place. (In fact all of these conditions apply, which is why there are many unpopular laws that governments nevertheless insist on trying to enforce, and why many laws that are widely considered good ideas have not yet been enacted.)

    That said, I think that you misunderstood the point I was trying to make in the first place. The point that I was trying to make didn’t have to do with attempts to “codify” morality, or with what people in a given society widely consider to be moral or immoral. My point had to do with what it is actually right to do, or actually wrong to do, or what people do or do not actually have a right to do. That’s an independent question; there are lots of cases where something was widely considered right even though it was wrong — say, slavery or witch-burning — and lots of cases where something was widely considered wrong even though there wasn’t anything wrong with it — say, interracial marriage or homosexual sex.

    The point I was trying to make, then, is that something being legal or illegal has precisely nothing to do with whether it’s right or wrong to do it. Pointing to something and saying “That’s against the law” tells you something about what might happen to you if you do it and get caught, but it tells you nothing about whether you ought or ought not to do it. And pointing at an order and saying “That’s a legal order” tells you nothing about whether you ought to obey it, to ignore it, or to defy it. This is just an application of the principle set out by Dr. King in his letter from Birmingham jail:

    You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, it is rather strange and paradoxical to find us consciously breaking laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: There are just and there are unjust laws. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all”.

  26. 26
    Carnadosa says:

    At three college libraries I’ve used (two public and one private) they all had policies restricting access to students of those college after a certain time at night. These policies all predated 9/11. As a smallish female student in the wrong age ranges as far as rape stats are concerned? I see it as a safety issue. It’s also to prevent people living in the libraries. Though most of the people who I’ve know to be doing/trying that are college students…

    I do agree, though, that all public colleges should give free access to their collections. It’s hard for me to see why it’d be otherwise.

  27. 27
    Radfem says:

    The university in my city doesn’t do this. And most of the sexual assaults that occur against women in colleges and universities are done by other students, so if they are concerned about safety, maybe they should apply their energy where most of the crimes are happening. Inside dorm rooms, apartment and greek houses for example, because guess what? Most rape is not stranger rape. And they should get rid of those kangaroo judicial processes courts which discourage rape victims from going to the police and treat rape and sexual assault as if its akin to cheating on a test.