Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Campus pastor summoned to help two sides talk

By
From page A5 | November 22, 2011 | 6 Comments

The Rev. Kristin Stoneking. Courtesy photo

The Rev. Kristin Stoneking of Cal Aggie House and her family had just departed Davis by car on Saturday afternoon, heading for a conference in San Francisco.

But around 5 p.m., Stoneking’s phone rang. It was Griselda Castro, assistant vice chancellor at UC Davis, who told her that Chancellor Linda Katehi and others were inside the Surge II building, which was surrounded by several protesters. The chancellor had called a news conference there.

“(Castro) asked if I could mediate between the students and the administration,” Stoneking said Monday. “We turned the car around and headed back to Davis.”

When the campus pastor reached Surge II, she spent an hour talking with those inside and outside the building, and Stoneking determined that:

* “The chancellor had made a commitment that police would not be called in this situation.”

* “Though the message had been received inside the building that students were offering a peaceful exit, there was a concern that not everyone would hold to this commitment.”

* “The chancellor had committed to talk with students personally and respond to concerns at a rally on Monday on the Quad.”

* “The student assistants to the chancellor had organized another forum on Tuesday for the chancellor to dialog directly with students.”

Stoneking added, “What we felt couldn’t be compromised was the students’ desire to see and be seen by the chancellor. Any exit without face-to-face contact was unacceptable. She was willing to do this. We reached agreement that the students would move to one side and sit down as a show of commitment to nonviolence.”

Asked to describe her role, Stoneking said, “I think it is important to know that it wasn’t a negotiation, and ‘mediation’ is not characterizing it accurately. It was facilitation of dialog, helping people hear each other.”

Before Stoneking and Katehi left the building, the chancellor was asked to view a video of a student being pepper-sprayed.

“She immediately agreed,” Stoneking said, and Katehi watched the video together with the pastor and the student who had been pepper-sprayed.

Then Stoneking and Katehi went to the door, and walked side by side to a car, passing scores of silent, stony-faced students.

(Some major news outlets identified the woman walking alongside Katehi as “the chief of police.” But Stoneking said, “I think it is important that people know it was a Christian minister,” rather than a security officer, who accompanied the chancellor as she left the building.)

The pastor added that at one point, Katehi indicated that “she wanted to personally apologize to every student who was pepper-sprayed. I relayed the message to the students, and they asked that instead of being singled out, they preferred that she apologize to everyone, and particularly all students, acknowledging that when a few were pepper-sprayed, we were all harmed.”

Katehi offered a public apology when she spoke at the general assembly on the Quad on Monday afternoon.

Stoneking said that while she understood the protesters’ thinking, “I am personally sorry that the students preferred not to sit down with her face-to-face because I believe something important shifts when a person looks someone else in the eye, owns their actions, takes responsibility, and commits to change. But this is a step in the right direction.

“But for real reconciliation and healing to happen, the apology must be backed up by consistent measures responding to the brokenness of the structure on campus and in the UC system.”

Stoneking has received considerable attention for her part in Saturday’s events. Untold thousands of people have viewed the YouTube video of Katehi and Stoneking walking in eerie silence past staring protesters as they exited Surge II. Stoneking also wrote a blog post that has been linked to or quoted by the Huffington Post, The Atlantic “and other places I didn’t even recognize.”

“Some people have wondered why it was a ‘silent exit,’ ” Stoneking added. “In many religious traditions, when people are grieving and there’s acknowledgement of pain and loss, a period of silence is called for. The students showed such deep commitment to the principles of nonviolence, and I think the chancellor’s willingness to exit in silence was a chance to try to be in that space with them.”

Another campus pastor, the Rev. Jocelynn Hughes of The Belfry, told The Enterprise that “many students are definitely upset about the pepper spray on Friday. They feel the amount of force that was used was not appropriate to the perceived threat.

“I have students who don’t identify with the Occupy movement, but the way the protesters were treated is on the students’ minds. I think they see a major disconnect between the chancellor saying she wants safety for everyone and then watching their fellow students be pepper-sprayed.”

Hughes added, “I think as people of faith, we’re called to follow the example of Jesus, who made nonviolence his approach. I’m thankful that the administration has asked for the support of the campus clergy.

“It is heartening to see them recognize that we can help in this situation. And we want to do that for the students’ sake, and the sake of everyone else at UC Davis.”

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8055.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 6 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Lyra HalprinNovember 21, 2011 - 5:28 pm

    Such a profound moment when Stoneking accompanied the chancellor to her car, and I am grateful to her for this and her articulate message. I appreciate that Hughes and others follow the example of Jesus; it's important to note that many other faith traditions and decent people of all cultures embrace nonviolence.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • NERNovember 21, 2011 - 6:47 pm

    Jesus would not have used pepper spray.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Richard SeymanNovember 27, 2011 - 10:27 am

    Jesus would have been sitting at the center of those who were pepper sprayed and maybe he was. See: https://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/26-4

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JordanNovember 21, 2011 - 9:17 pm

    The 1% has pepper spray, and tasers, and batons. The students are heroes in this shameful episode and Katehi should be fired immediately.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • henrygeorgeNovember 21, 2011 - 10:29 pm

    using jesus as a shield is a red flag of wrong-doing

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Richard SeymanNovember 27, 2011 - 10:21 am

    Dear Henrygeorge, I would have no big problem w/your accusation if, in fact, you are willing to apply it 360 degrees around and to apply with force equal to the egregiousness of the wrong-doing that is being shielded-- e.g. Southerners used that to defend shield to defend slavery, to defend attach the USA and causing 600K deaths and ruination of their own region. They then went on to use it in a 100-yr rein of terror and murder against Americans to enforce Jim Crow. Southerners are using it still to attempt to cripple our federal and state governments for much the same kinds of reasons. Personally, I think one needs to pay most attention the other signs of what is happening "behind the shield," especially when they are quite obvious. Are you OK w/these ideas?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

Davis United Methodist Church, Holmes Green Team leaders honored

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Online K-12 school holds info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Schwenger lawn signs available

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Volunteers needed for Grad Night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis grad makes rain collection a business

By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

A few spots left on history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event to provide nature scholarship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Students have new options on leasing front

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Author discusses memoirs of Appalachia at The Avid Reader

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Food for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

Groups join for a day of service

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
.

Forum

Dad makes mom look bad

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
More tax money? Answer the question

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
UCD IS responsible for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
In search of great ideas

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Please keep the nursery open

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Early help is a great investment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Business

Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Acacia at Huntington Square

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Suzanne Kimmel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Sheryl Patterson

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Don Guthrie

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Andrew Dowling

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Julie Partain & Dick Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tim Harrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Team Traverso

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Lori Prizmich

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20