November 6, 2006
Protesters failed to communicate their message to UC Regents
As a former UC Regent and a UC Santa Cruz alumnus, I was among those surrounded
in the campus lecture hall by protesters. While the protesters got the attention
of the Regents, they were unsuccessful in communicating their message or proposed
Three students signed up to speak in the public comment session, and provided
effective input. Yet the opportunity for the public to see the entire session
(there were scores of empty seats) was precluded by the behavior of the protesters.
Together with former UC Regent Dr. Jodi Anderson, I taught a course to UC student
leaders on "how to provide more effective input to the Regents." We gave
guidance on how to best use the public comment session, and also presented the
myriad of other ways to effectively communicate to the Regents. Can students really
affect the Regents? Yes--the Darfur decision (divesture of investments with companies
doing business with Sudan) was a student-led movement.
The Regents, all volunteers, gave up their own time to visit UC Santa Cruz to
see both the physical beauty of the campus and the excellence of its academic programs.
Unfortunately, the protesters attenuated that opportunity, seemingly without moving forward their issues.
Gary D. Novack, Ph.D.
Gary Novack, a 1973 graduate, served as an Alumni Regent during the 2004-05
academic year and is a UC Santa Cruz Foundation trustee.
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