Sunday, December 10, 2006

UMASS Fights Back

The Daily Collegian covered the recent changes in police presence on the UMASS Amherst Campus. It seems this college campus is trying to change their image as a "party school" the only way they know how: extreme enforcement of laws that already fail to achieve the desired results and slashing student's civil liberties.
The campus has a Cannabis Reform Coalition that is trying to put an end to this dangerous and misguided attempt at "decreasing the use of narcotics" and to change the "reputation UMass holds as a party school. SSDP needs to to help them out.
"Every time someone gets arrested, and this is happening much more frequently, they're immediately suspended for being an 'imminent threat to the community,' so you get the idea that these people are really violent, and that's not true," said Werner. "Pot smokers are less likely to be violent than alcohol users."

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Gargano explains, "Our students at UMass Amherst have encouraged the University to have more stringent and forceful policies. Our students have shared they do not want the raucous behavior associated with alcohol and substance abuse."
Can anyone see the hypocrisy here? Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Gargano implies that he is doing this because it is what the students want. Then why has he cancelled, not one, but two meetings with the CRC to discuss issues like this and the Aid Elimination Penalty? That shows incompetence and ignorance in my opinion. The CRC is the oldest continuously-run student organization on campus and has over 200 members but Mr. Gargano has the audacity to cancel two meetings with them and then claim the police presence is supported by the students. One of those meetings was to include a petition signed by 1,600 students.

CRC Co-President, Jon Werner said "I honestly wasn't expecting him to change his policy when we met with him, but I was expecting him to at least defend his policy," says Werner. "I think he thinks we're an insignificant organization."

I feel it should be very clear that allowing, young, inexperienced, undercover police officers to roam the halls of a college dorm is not just unacceptable, it is dangerous. This doesn't stop at patrolling the halls, these officers are knocking on doors looking to create an issue. What is to stop a plain clothes male student from claiming he is an undercover cop to get access to a female student's room? Is it any more safe than the use of alcohol or marijuana for these officers to lie about who they are and what they are doing?

This is what we are consistently up against. People who cannot even defend their own actions or positions. Certainly not to the extent that us SSDPer's are able to. So much more can be said about and done with this. Get in touch with Micah Diagle to do more about this issue.


party king said...




uri said...

i'm not at all surprised. gargano's an institutional joke - a thuggish moron who has the respect of nobody.

Jonathan Perri said...

New Years is my bday!! Sweeet, 22!!!

But seriously comon, UMass is more important then my bday, even if the party king says otherwise.

Jimi Devine said...

Make sure you ID your pizza guy for now on.

800 pound gorilla said...

A few things I've noticed about police run drug scourge rallies:
1] All the evidence is testimonial in nature - just like sales recruitment meetings.
2] There is no access for audience questions. They must be deathly afraid of embarrassing truths and tough questions from knowledgeable people.
3] Drugs are imbued with almost magical qualities able to transform wonderful people into trolls. Almost the evil twin of pharmaceutical drugs - except that people with long memories remember the ads back when those drug scourges were the new wonder drugs.
4] Nobody acknowledges that 90 plus percent of those demonized "dealers of death" are just addicts and regular joes trying to get their fix. Unlike smoked nicotine fiends they have to spend 25 times as much because of the police.
5] When they lock these bad puppies up - after stealing thousands to support their addiction - we as taxpayers have to pony up another 200 a day to keep them in prison.
6] That there actually is another side to the political debate but those peoples' tax dollars are being stolen to bankroll these dog and pony shows.
7] The fact that the participants in the dog and pony shows are terrified of being on the same stage with the people whose tax dollars are stolen.