Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For a Sanctuary Called University

Some things cannot or ought not be forgotten.

It was four years ago, almost to the date. Here's a link to the video that captured the utterly shocking events of the night of November 14th, 2006, at my beloved university campus, when a student was subjected to what seemed to be some severe, unproportionately overt security measures. Back then, upon its release, I watched the video two times in horror. Today, I could not even bring myself to watch it. The horror of the first night, when I innocently clicked on a link in an email, has not yet subsided.

From the outset, I thought that it was never my place to run any judgment publicly on an issue so complicated and so sensitive, although as an independent observer, I did arrive at some personal opinions on the matter, and specially the larger context in which it occurred. In this brief personal note, however, I'd rather resort to the following formulation: This should not have happened. This ought not to happen ever again.

Further information is provided in the official Final Report by PARC (August 2007), available in PDF.

(*) I pondered long and hard whether I should dedicate a post on this issue. At the end, I thought that a reminder as mild as this would serve us better, than trying to sweep its account down the dungeons of our collective memory. To avoid unnecessary appearances on search engine results, I did not include any references to specific names, titles, or other parties or locations, who or which were directly invovled in the incident, other than the dates and documents provided as links. As needless as it might seem, I do emphasize that by all accounts, nothing should obscure the fact that the goodness in that particular campus, and the number of good men in those institutions involved in the incident, far outweigh such regrettable mistakes. I wrote this post to contribute as small a share as I could afford to making sure that such goodness shall be multiplied and preserved. Thank you.

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