Here’s the good news: In recent months, no one has been arrested in the Reg for being too noisy. The bad news? Not much has changed since Mauriece Dawson’s (A.B. ’10) A-Level arrest this past February. In the event’s fallout, the Administration made an awful lot of plans to ensure that nothing similar would happen again. Among these was the formation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Campus and Student Life: a group consisting of students, professors, and members of the Administration designed to scrutinize the event and reevaluate campus policy.
While the Ad Hoc Committee did meet several times during spring quarter, they have failed to do so this academic year, and furthermore, have no plans to. The committee has not yet addressed much on its agenda, including its mandate to comment on the Independent Review Committee’s report about the arrest itself. While the committee was always meant to be temporary (and is scheduled to be disbanded at the end of spring quarter), one hopes it will try to accomplish more of its goals before that time.
The beauty of the Ad Hoc Committee is that it is so interested in the student perspective. Out of the 17 people on the committee, 10 are students. Accordingly, it ought to be a space in which students not only can voice their real opinions about campus security and the presence of the UCPD, but also do something about it. A lot of times the phrase “Do something about it” sounds empty, but the committee’s clear ability to discuss and influence campus policy makes its lack of activity inexcusable.
It’s not surprising that nine months later, the vast majority of campus has forgotten about Mauriece Dawson’s arrest. But what is surprising, as well as disconcerting, is that the people designated to improve the University’s response to such incidents have seemingly halted all attempts to do so. It’s not like this ought to be a “Remember the Alamo” situation, but it is recent and relevant enough to still warrant thoughtful consideration from the community and Administration.
The unfortunate take-home point of the Ad Hoc Committee’s failure to meet is that the Administration will disregard its initial promises as long as it is not under pressure to answer to them. The initial efforts of the Administration were well publicized and, by and large, well executed. But the sudden lack of activity this year makes their promises seem insincere and hollow, a temporary flurry of activity to assuage the inflamed campus community rather than a matter of real interest. That’s not the response the incident in the A-Level deserves, and the responsibility is on the Committee to resume its work and prevent any recurrence.
The Maroon Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief and Viewpoints Editors.