Shame Comes to My Alma Mater

So you’ve probably already seen the video above. The story went national sometime last Friday afternoon and it seemed that wherever I looked over the weekend there it was. Oh, just another bunch of Occupy Wall Street kids and just another in the seemingly endless cases of Police brutality. And, maybe for you that’s all it is. Not for me though, see University of California is where I went to college; it’s where my wife is attending right now for her PhD. we live in Davis. Davis is a wonderful place to live with a great sense of community. The city itself has had an occupy movement that has camped in Davis Central Park for over a month now and the city has done nothing but support it’s citizens right to peaceful protest. Sadly, a block away on the UCD campus that sentiment is not shared…

I don’t know how to feel about all of this… Mostly what I’m feeling is ashamed. Ashamed that the school I attended, the school I loved did this to some of her students. Ashamed that the woman in charge of UCD doesn’t seem to understand what the role of a University is, or her role in guiding it.

I felt these things strongly enough to write a  letter to the Chancellor of UC Davis, Linda P.B. Katehi:


You know what this letter is about. I imagine your mailbox is beginning to overflow with them. As a UCD Alumni I take some pride in my Alma Mater and the actions you initiated against peaceful student protesters is truly horrifying and unacceptable. “Alma Mater” is a funny Latin phrase, it means nourishing mother and was used as a term to describe numerous pagan deities, such as Ceres and Cybele, and to describe the Virigin Mary. This term is also applied though to our colleges and universities. These entities, UC Davis, exist to provide an education, to nourish the soul and mind of those who attend them who in doing so become their children. I can’t think of anything more opposed to the spirit of Alma Mater than the actions the UCD police, on your orders, took against students.

I’ve stopped my end of year donation to UCD and it won’t resume until the officers, not just Lt. Pike, are properly reprimanded if not removed and you personal apologize not only to the students your actions have harmed, but to all UCD students, alumni, and the institution itself. You shame us all with your behavior.


Jonathon Howard

If you want to read a much more powerful and effective letter you can find one here.

If you want to sign the petition calling for Chancellor Katehi’s resignation you can find it here.


Author: falselogic

Doesn’t mix well with polite company; his two favorite topics being politics and religion. Would rather be out cycling, swimming, running, or camping. Misspent his youth reading genre-fiction; today, he is making up for it by reading large quantities of non-fiction literature. The fact that truth, in every way, is more fascinating than fiction still tickles him.

One thought on “Shame Comes to My Alma Mater”

  1. Your heartfelt response resonates with my own. I couldn’t leave my office for all the phone calls and letters I felt I had to write. Katehi has to be removed, she has lost all credibility by her initial response. I’m proud of how people like you have responded in the wake of all this. The UC Davis English Department’s leadership in organizing the faculty reflect’s your own sensibility. Check out their statement on their web page.

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