Public Comment

An Open Letter to Cal Parents and Alumni

By Peter Ernst, San Diego
Friday November 18, 2011 - 07:21:00 PM

Dear Parents and Alumni of Cal:

Like many of you, I have been so proud that our daughter is attending an institution with the stature of Cal. Until last week. While the context of the protests have not been thoroughly reported nationally and are difficult to judge, students linked by their arms should not be bludgeoned. Did the students err? Quite possibly. Did they deserve to be beaten? Absolutely not. Any respect the students and the rest of had for the judgment of the Cal police and administration has been lost by this senseless response.  

When Chancellor Birgeneau stated that the protests were “not non-violent” and since he has failed to criticize the actions of the police immediately, he has essentially, endorsed them. An Internal Review may be helpful but it is his admission that he lacks the courage and wisdom to protect the well-being of our children and the citizens of the Berkeley community. This, I am afraid Chancellor, is the beginning of the end of your term. You have just matched the terminated President of Penn State in failing to recognize the victims. It is inconceivable that the “leadership” who created this problem has the skills to resolve it. If the parents and alumni want to motivate the Regents to fashion an effective response, they should reserve their generosity for a future leadership team.