As I write this, a CSU student is at the 111th Street jail trying to make bail. He was arrested outside the CSU Library Auditorium at our Board of Trustees meeting today. This is the second student arrested this year at a Board of Trustees meeting, a public meeting. He is also another one of the more outspoken and anti-administration students on this campus and tonight he is in jail. I won't try to recreate the scenario that landed him there because I was not at that part of the meeting. Others who witnessed this will post something in more detail. From the accounts I've heard this afternoon, however, someone, either Dr Watson or the CSU police chief Ronnie Watson, began the provocation by telling the student to take his baseball cap off. An exchange escalated and within a few minutes the student was choked on the ground and dragged out of this public meeting.
If nothing else you've read on this blog about the disgusting cronyism, the cynical empty phrases about caring for students first, the outlandish salaries created for administrators for jobs that never existed before they were hired, the shameful countenancing of the administration and trustees of a provost who plagiarized her dissertation, this kind of police state that Wayne Watson has created in order to rule this school should fill you with disgust and shame. How many police officers were present at the Town Hall last week --do you remember any other president who needed them there in such numbers? How many were at the student Town Hall meeting? For a couple of years, Wayne Watson has clucked and clucked about how the faculty "do not know our students," "do not look like our students," how "the faculty are afraid of our students." Well, who is the one who is so afraid of them now Dr Watson? Your Dr. Henderson is so terrified she goes straight for a restraining order against one of them. Are you afraid of them too?
I have never been more ashamed of this administration and the Board of Trustees than I am at this moment. Bullying students and parading students in handcuffs across campus to launch them into the prison system is the new CSU brand. Or is it simply that you, Dr Watson, want the power to determine which students will get the trips to China and accolades on campus and which ones will get the chokehold and handcuffs? Civility Policy. Cyber-bullying Policy. And now wearing hats indoors is cause for chucking someone into the system. Time to reread your Herodotus Dr Watson. We are witnessing the expurgation of the word "university" in CSU. It is anathema here and Chicago State has no right to be called a university. It is not a place that fosters the free exchange of ideas. Students of Chicago State told us at the forum on repression a few weeks ago of the intimidation they have experienced. Nothing is more intimidating than to think you can end up like so-and-so if you speak up or express your dissent be it by wearing your pants below your waist or trying to hand fliers out on campus or, apparently, wearing a baseball cap inside the library. Dr Watson has concern and acts only for his select few who claim trauma at the hands of students or faculty who "oppress" them.
And civility policy or not Dr. Watson, IT IS NOW LEGAL IN THE STATE OF ILL TO VIDEO RECORD SOMEONE without their consent. So no more throwing faculty members out of town halls for trying to do that.
To my colleagues, especially faculty colleagues, whether or not you agree with the cadre of Dr Watson's vocal "disgruntled white/male/communist" __________(fill in the blank) faculty critics, be it with the "tone" "the attitudey-ness" or the content of what we have been bringing to light here--this is what we are part of--all of it. We should be ashamed of ourselves as academics and scholars if we let what happened here today go without comment.