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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Open forums held to further discuss Reynoso report

On April 17, the Reynoso task force held a second forum about their report on the Nov. 18 pepper spray incident. The forum was intended to be more low-key than the initial release of the report, with less media coverage and more attendees, to more adequately address individual questions and concerns about the report.

“We did meet with the Chancellor earlier this afternoon to indicate to her what some of the issues were, and we had a good discussion with her. We will be having more discussions with her, and fortunately she has invited that,” said Justice Cruz Reynoso during his opening comments.

One issue raised in the forum was that of restorative justice, a form of justice with an emphasis on satisfying the victims of an incident, referenced in the report as a recommendation for the administration. Several people expressed skepticism about the idea.

“The only problem I see is, being from a different perspective, people are so passionate about it that they don’t listen,” said Bryan McPartlan, a senior political science major. “There are a lot of people who don’t want to hear what I have to say.”

Another individual agreed with the idea of restorative justice, but argued that it should be pushed forward by the students and administration instead, an idea that Reynoso seemed to support.

“We didn’t make that specific recommendation, but the healing process that that speaks to is part of restorative justice. Because [many people] cannot speak freely about this, we felt it was jumping the gun to include that recommendation,” Reynoso said.

Another issue brought up was that of a democratic process to determine the leadership of the university, taking the decision away from the UC Regents. The task force seemed to partially agree with this point as well.

“We currently have a dual governance system, as the faculty has a lot of say. I think what you’re suggesting is an official third party of students, and I would suggest a fourth party for the staff,”  Reynoso said.

Katheryn Kolesar, task force member and chair of the UC Davis Graduate Student Association, said that this idea is already in place at other universities.

“What Penn State has is a board of trustees elected by alumni, so these models do exist and are worth taking a look at,” Kolesar said.

Calls were also made for Chancellor Katehi’s resignation.

“This campus is a war zone,” said former City Council candidate Jon Li. “There is no way she has any legitimacy on this campus today. That has been true since the 18th of November and that will be true for the rest of her life.”

Comments were made about other members about the administration as well.

“I would like to see almost the entire leadership team removed,” said UC Davis alumnus Alan C. Miller. “I know that’s not likely to happen, but that’s what I would like to see happen.”

Others, though, expressed a different view of Chancellor Katehi.

“I think most everyone feels that this was a most unfortunate occurrence, but I hope we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” said Neville Luhmann, professor of electrical engineering. “I would hate to see us lose this chancellor.”

ROHIT RAVIKUMAR can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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