June 15, 2012 (Sacramento)—A measure requiring California State University (CSU) Trustees to designate a senior administrator as a liaison between protesting students and campus officials to improve safety and communication Wednesday won Senate Education Committee approval on a six to zero vote. AB 1955, authored by local Assemblyman Marty Block (AD 78)) also requests the University of California (UC) to name a liaison when protests occur on those campuses.
The UC system is constitutionally exempt from the same legislative oversight authority as the CSU system.
“AB 1955 recognizes the delicate balance between the exercise of the First Amendment rights of students and the obligation of campus police to maintain a safe and orderly environment,” Block said. “During campus protests when tensions escalate between student demonstrators and campus police, a designated faculty or staff liaison can help to facilitate communication and mediate points of contention thereby reducing the likelihood of violent confrontation.”
Block noted that AB 1955 was drafted in response to recommendations made in reports that included:
- Reynoso Task Force Report conducted at the request of UC President Mark Yudof and charged with reviewing the UC Davis pepper spray incident which occurred on Nov. 16, 2011.
- Robinson-Edley Report initiated by Yudof to review campus administrative and police policies across the UC system and look at practices on other campuses nationwide.
- An Independent Review of an Unusual Occurrence at the California State University Board of Trustees Meeting, November 16, 2011 conducted at the request of CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed following disruption at a Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach.
- Links to responses to the reports and additional background information may be found on the Assembly Higher Education Committee web site (May 15, 2012 agenda) at http://ahed.assembly.ca.gov/committeehearingschedule.
Assemblymember Marty Block represents the cities and communities of Bonita, Chula Vista, Lemon Grove, San Diego and Spring Valley.
Web site: www.asmdc.org/block