If there's one thing the University of California's administration can improve upon, it could be summed up in one word: communication. That's according to a new report released Friday on how to avoid violent confrontations with student protesters on campus in the future.
Back in November, videos of campus police striking student demonstrators with batons at UC Berkeley and using pepper spray on seated protesters at UC Davis circulated the Internet catching the nation's attention. An internal investigation condemned campus administration and the UCPD for their failures in dealing with student and faculty protesters.
Now a new report released last week, written by Christopher Edley Jr., the dean of Berkeley Law, and Charles Robinson, the UC system's vice president and general counsel, gives 50 recommendations on improvements the administration can make.
The report was broken down into nine specific areas. Here's a summary of their conclusions:
In large part, Edley and Robinson focus on improved communication with students who have grievances with the administration as well as communication with demonstrators if protests are underway.
"I'm totally confident that if our recommendations had been in place," Edley said at a press conference, "the mistakes that were made in November wouldn't have been made."
Throughout the past decade, the UCPD have repeatedly been cited for being too aggressive or violent in their response to various demonstrations by students.
While the report doesn't call for a ban the use of pepper spray on students, it does suggest "campus police utilize hands-on pain compliance techniques before pepper spray or batons whenever feasible."
NBCLA reports Edley and Robinson also said UC should create a student discipline policy to keep protesters out of the criminal justice system. Eleven students and faculty members arrested during an Occupy Cal protest in November have fought get their official charges dropped.
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