UPDATE: I've rewritten this into a petition at Change.org. Please go there and sign it to show your support!
President Yudof, Chancellor Birgeneau:
I am a recent graduate of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences program at Berkeley. I have always been proud to be a Berkeley alumnus, but as of last week I am ashamed to be associated with the University. Both of you you and your administrations are the ones who should be ashamed, though, as you have failed in your duties to protect the University's students.
The University of California Police Department's mission statement sets forth the goals of "[facilitating] the achievement of the academic, research, and public service missions of the University" and "the protection of individual rights". This is a far cry from UCPD's actions last week at Berkeley, where an arrested student asked about his Miranda rights and was told to his face "You don't have any rights", and this week at Davis, where a group of students sitting quietly on campus grounds were doused with pepper spray at point-blank range.
As a member of the UC alumni community, I can no longer remain silent on this issue. Forty-seven years ago, almost to the day, the Free Speech Movement began at Berkeley, inspiring an entire generation with the ideals of free speech and open political debate. These ideals still inform the actions of students today; indeed, Berkeley's legacy as the home of the FSM is a large selling point to prospective students. UCPD's actions effectively mean the University has reneged upon this heritage of political activism.
As a EECS graduate, I am one of the relatively lucky members of my generation — my education at Berkeley has enabled me to secure employment in a fast-growing sector of the economy. I was planning to thank the University for this by donating to the campus this year as I have in past years. As of today, I have changed my mind. I am withholding my donation and will continue to do so until such time as UCPD and the University admit their wrongdoing and issue a full apology to all of the students and other members of the community they have harmed, and until a full investigation of how these atrocities happened has taken place and those responsible are no longer in the employ of the University or any position of authority over students.
University of California, Berkeley Class of 2010