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Campus free speech, police review forums set

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From page A3 | October 11, 2013 | Leave Comment

UC Davis is holding a series of forums beginning next week aimed at gathering opinion on both a new freedom of expression policy and a proposal to create a police review board.

The policy and proposal have grown out of the reform effort prompted by the 2011 pepper-spraying of Occupy UC Davis protesters on the Quad.

A three-page draft version of the freedom of expression policy has been posted online (see box). Kevin Johnson, dean of the School of Law, has headed up a 25-member committee that includes faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students.

The draft policy seeks to assure constitutional rights of free expression, speech, assembly and worship, “even when positions are controversial or unpopular,” within core goals of the university.

Those goals include the opportunity of community members to attain their educational objectives, maintaining an intellectual and educational atmosphere and protection of the “health, safety, welfare, property and civil and human rights of all members of the university community, and the safety and property interests of the university.”

The draft policy includes time, space and manner regulations for expression. They would bar disruptive noise, blocking access to campus buildings, damaging property and abusive, harassing or intimidating behavior toward other people.

Notably, the policy also would continue the ban on overnight camping on university property. It also would declare that sidewalks, lobbies, courtyards, hallways and other paths or thoroughfares be maintained to allow for the movement of people, bicycles and cars.

A report containing a police oversight proposal is due early next week.

Those who attended spring forums generally supported the idea of civilian review — as did Chief Matt Carmichael — and a need for any review board to have members who reflect a wide range viewpoints.

According to UCD’s online publication Dateline, three models were discussed:

* An independent office of civilian investigators responsible for handling complaints, investigations, findings and recommendations;

* A commission with appointed members of the community who would review investigations of complaints and could determine findings, handle appeals or make policy recommendations; and

* An auditor-monitor who tracks investigations of complaints of misconduct and could weigh in on many aspects of department operations.

A hybrid system tailored to UCD seemed a likelihood.

Freedom of expression
Monday: Noon-1 p.m., Student Community Center multipurpose room;
Thursday: Noon-1 p.m., MUII in the Memorial Union;
Oct. 21: 5:30-6:30 p.m., Community Center multipurpose room;
Oct. 25: 2-3 p.m., 2222 Lecture Hall at UC Davis Medical Center.
The draft policy is available online at http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/200-75.pdf. Comments may be submitted online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FreedomExpression

Police oversight
Davis campus: Community Center multipurpose room
Wednesday: 9-10:30 a.m. and 1-2:30 p.m.
Thursday: 6-7:30 p.m.
Sacramento campus
Oct. 18: 8:30-10 a.m., 1222 Education Building, 4610 X St.
Oct. 18: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., MIND Institute auditorium, 2825 50th St.
A draft proposal is due out next week

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
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