Monday, September 28, 2009

The Jacob Miller / Evan Lisull affair

This item was originally posted 9/25. It has moved to the top of our site as comments continue to pour in.

[Original intro, 9/25]
Is the fact that a student was arrested and charged with a crime while publicly protesting education cuts yet another sign of this administration's autocratic and heavy handed character? One poster asked that the shameful arrest of a Geography graduate student for using chalk art to protest should be at the top of our posts, because "we have let a grad student take the fall for our feebleness". Read, and see if you agree that the faculty should take some action in defense of this student:
EBH Team

[Original Post ]

The UA defender has not yet completed it mission. As many of you know, at Thursday's rally a grad student was arrested for a chalking. A rather, spurious and arbitrary charge meant simply as a scare tactic against any further public attempts at voicing concern (I wish I could say opposition, but I haven't seen that yet in daylight, and probably won't after this). And too few people were there to do anything about it (and I was there from start to finish). Unfortunately, I didn't stay long enough to see the arrest.
So I say that faculty apathy has now instantiated another consequence: we have let a grad student take the fall for our feebleness. This happened Thursday, and it was on the news that night. To what department does this student belong? Why have we not heard from the outraged faculty from this dept? Why have we not seen a draft of a statement that responds to this abuse of power, written by faculty from that department, so that other outraged faculty may sign off on it, in support not only of this particular student, but in support of all students's right to speak? This is a despicable turn of events. At any other university with any sense of social consciousness, not only would a statement have been immediately isssued by that student's home dept. on Thursday, but by Friday we would also have seen statements of solidarity issued from other universitites deploring this action against a student. Neither has happened. The chickens have come home to roost. and worse yet, we should be ashamed.

UA defender, this student arrest is major affront to the university, even if (better yet, precisely because) it a consequence of our own apathy, and its deserves it own place at the TOP of the blog to remind us that failed to defend a student. So before we start thinking about life "post-poll" we should start thinking about life "post-grad student sacrifice" because that will be our legacy, and we deserve it.


  1. Preceding comment: "The UA defender has not yet completed its mission." 
Correct. We said we're not going away - simply preparing to pass on to the FGLF those parts of our common mission that have more to do with implementing constructive solutions within the framework of an official body, than those that have more to do with anonymously protesting past mistakes and outrages. 
We share your anger, and if you are looking for a place to express it openly and in solidarity with the students who have already created a Facebook petition protesting the arrest, go to the comments section of yesterday's online Wildcat for the address of the petition.* You'll also find there answers to some of your other questions (Jacob Miller is a graduate student in the Geography dept.) and (at the moment) 52 comments which abundantly and vehemently echo your outrage and calls for solidarity. We agree that faculty have an obligation to call for action, and we're waiting to see how our colleagues (in the Law school for example) deal with this. Meanwhile the students do have the ball rolling. Not to mention Renee Schafer Horton's excellent coverage. 
The UA Defender will continue to post opinions, especially those that cannot be signed (after what happened Thursday, can anyone doubt there's repressive retaliation in the air?), while hoping to route to the FGLF (and to their blog, when it's up) discussion items and action items that engage specific questions of how to strengthen the faculty's role in governance, within the existing framework of what's legal, while looking toward expanding that framework. Put more simply, the Defender would then be, as it has been, "a safe place for people to vent" while the FGLF blog would be the space for discussion, between its meetings, of planning, organizing, and implementing specific projects converging in the core mission.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's see, first, if the FGLF people - Lynn Nadel in particular - are amenable to this idea. 


  2. UA defender, you think this is a "student" issue? You think that because the students already "have the ball rolling" this site absolves itself of dealing with it to focus on more important issues? This is a most central issue to the legitimacy of the university and the responsibility of faculty to students. And if you think that my previous comments only represent cynicism and outrage you are wrong. We should ALL be outraged, and if we are ALL not outraged, then we are the problem. We cannot pretend to be "defenders" of the UA and not simultaneously, come to the defense of our students who seek the same. If we the faculty do not respond to this, in a serious way, there is nothing left to defend.

  3. Of course this is a central issue, and it's the same issue we started with, last August. And we are now in a position to confront it in a two-prong fashion: 1) the UA Defender can provide "a safe place" for people to say what cannot be said elsewhere. And 2) the FGLF can focus more on the nuts and bolts of policy under law for making things better. These two are not mutually exclusive, but mutually reinforcing.

  4. "and if you are looking for a place to express it openly and in solidarity with the students"

    Does this statement not already concede that there is no solidarity among faculty for Jacob Miller, thereby proving first poster's point? This merits more consideration.

    In accordance with Evelyn's two-prong approach, why don't we make this Miller issue a separate post, so that readers, can either participate in the fglf angle or the Miller angle?

  5. OK, we will open a new post for the Jacob Miller affair.

  6. I have talked to a lot of faculty who are upset, angry, and even shocked about the arrest of Jacob Miller. I am. To the poster who thinks that the faculty do not care, please please don't think that. This is not the case. A number have poster here, have talked with other faculty, and many will go to the facebook site that has been put up in support of Mr. Miller.

    I also think that if this ridiculous decision of our administration to not drop the charges continues than many of us would be more than pleased to donate to his legal defense, his fine, but more importantly challenge our leadership on this shocking act.

  7. This arrest is to put it midly the last attempt from the infamous corporate manual "high velocity culture change" to intimidate stakeholders of a process... (it says there 'casualties will emerge') I have read the citizen blog and Renee is right to state that cleaning chalk won;t cost $1000 - in particular when the univ uses and abuses Latina women everyday to do this paying them peanuts per hour... so in my view the MacCarthy-Allvin pr crappola work is just going way too far... and the problem is that both shelton and hay are letting them do this to their detriment... no top ranked institution of higher learning will allow this type of intimidation to continue, heck not even Harvard allowed Summers to do this... so why is the UA letting grad students to become the latest victims of this struggle? I also agree that it is shameful that grad students are willing to openly protest the latest budgetary abuses of the hay culture change, but where are the faculty (with a few exceptions)? waiting to see the results of a suspect poll so they can jump into a bandwagon?
    pathetic bunch indeed aren't we?

  8. It is a little unnerving to see that the comments posted by average Tucson citizens on the daily wildcat show more empathy surrounding this issue then some of the faculty and intellectual body at this University. We all became educators for different reasons, I know that one of my goals was to cultivate pro-active, critical thinking subjects. This poor, graduate student, was certainly just trying to voice his conerns for what he (and I would agree) view as a shift in the structure of higher education. What strikes me as ironic is that some of us train our students to think for themselvs to cultivate a voice, and we do it in this instiutional space, and the moment they try to exert that right, HERE, in a supposed safe space of exchange of ideas, he gets arrested. What are the reasons given for his arrest, that he compromised the aesthetics of the University? Yet, I am quite certain that had his chalk drawings stated " go wildcats" or "UofA is the best," a blind eye for the "aesthetics" would have looked the other way.

    But this is beside the point, what is troubling is that some of you on this page fee that his arrest or his protest is not integral to your discussions of the current "transformation" process. These remarks that direct readers to go to " his facebook" and show support on cyberspace , or to dontae money, is not what this student had in mind. He was voicing his conern for a complete apathy among his peers and I would argue his faculty mentors over the fact that we are watching the dismantling of the University System; the imposition of models of Neoliberalism being imposed on University Institions why we idly watch and stand by. We are so immersed in our own "venting" over Shelton and Hays, that we are failing to see the bigger picture: that Shelton and Hays are effects are the interlocutors/enforces of such systems. Until we challange the larger structural issues, chances are other administrators will handle these issues in the same manner (although the degree of their "dictatorship may vary)

    Moreover, unlike other R1 instiutions, who have created a palpable movement of resistance over this change, our greatest achievement is to create a blog to just vent? Where is our own form of protest, and why have we failed to show solidarity with other instituitions that are undergoing the same process, but who are actively doing something about it? Where were we that day that students (not faculty) organized this protest? Why are we allowing them to take on the burden of organizing these protests? Are they not even more vulnerable than faculty?

    Our silence and apathy, not just on this Jacob Miller incident but on the over all role of allowing a legislature to create an atmosophere at the UofA that stifles free voice, and activism is disturbing to me.

    I apologize for what some will read as a long incoherent rant. Admittingly it was written in a "stream of consciousness" form, but I leave all of you with a poem, that came to my mind as I read some of the responses (or lack thereof) regarding Jacob Miller.

    It was written by Pastor Martin Niemöller in the mid 20th century

    In Germany they first came for the Communists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

    Then they came for me —
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.

    My apologies if my post offends, for the many typos and other erros, my eyes are having trouble with this small print.

  9. Having attended the "pre-rally" meeting, and the rally itself, I was saddened by the lack of staff members I recognized. I had sent the message to several listservs, but the bulk of the individuals there seemed to be grad students. While I realize that staff (myself included) are extremely vulnerable to the past and upcoming budget cuts, if enough people got involved, it seems that "they" wouldn't be able to get rid of all of us. ("Storm the Bastille") Even more distressing to me was the turnout (or lack thereof) of faculty I recognized. While I don't know everyone, most of the individuals there were in their 20's. And on this campus,tenured faculty are in fact safer than anyone else. If they are unwilling to risk, then why should staff members like myself be willing to take on the fight? Why should we speak up, when we can be let go easily. (And yes, a non-renewal is getting fired.) While I tend to be a pessimist, I also believe in speaking out when one sees something that is wrong, and the happenings on this campus over the last year have been very wrong - in every sense of the word. It is my hope that the faculty who have been unwilling to show themselves publicy will feel emboldened by what I hope the result of the faculty poll is. If not, I will complain to my friends and co-workers, but will not put my neck (and job) on the line when those who are more protected are not willing to say voice their concerns to the administration.

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

  10. A comment in response to Anon 12:18 (today) and to those of you who gave Shelton and Hay your vote of confidence. Or who gave no vote at all - which comes out to the same: you voted FOR them.
    Anon 12:18 refers to his/her comment as a "rant." It is more than that, and better than that. It would be a mistake to dismiss the part that's confused and miss the part that's compassionate. Most important is the reminder at the end about what happens to those with the privilege of apathy, which they've confused with the privilege of protection (as in "protection from budget cuts").
    "First they came for the communists, then for the Jews..."
    Why is Anon 12:30's reminder of the inexorable closing of the vice (on the weakest first, but then on the stronger, and finally also on the strongest) appropriate to our situation? And why is that so hard for so many of us to see?
    Anon 12:30 is absolutely correct. When you can't appeal to people's conscience, because conscience has gone to sleep, or has gone dead, then you must appeal to their self-interest. YOUR self-interest: Where will YOU go?
    You may be thinking you have an answer to that question, but are you sure? Have you checked lately? ("Times are bad everywhere - there's a downturn goin' on, dude, haven't you heard?")
    First they came for the School of Public Administration (2009), than they came for the Arts, Music, and the Humanities - then Social & Behavioral Science, etc., right on up the food chain to the Protected programs in the Sciences, Medicine, Business, and Law, where people were snug - and smug - as bugs in a rug. But how smug will you be when you no longer have a Research I base of operations? How credible and competitive will your grant applications be coming from a stripped-down, gutted, downgraded school in a backwater state whose educational standing nationwide is already second from the bottom and by then may have edged out the competition for last? What will you do then, my friends? They will have come for you. Anon 12:30 is correct: they will have come for you, and where will you go then?
    So those of you who gave Shelton and/or Hay your vote of confidence last week might want to reconsider now, in the light of the Jacob Miller affair. Has it occurred to you to wonder why four days have gone by and Shelton still has not picked up the phone to say "Drop the charges"? Has it occurred to you that maybe he's waiting for a positive outcome in the Poll so that he can claim a mandate for repression? Has it occurred to those of you who are giving him that mandate that yes, in the end, they will come for you too?

  11. Jacob Miller's attorney is asking for help in his defense. You can read her request at at the bottom of the "Collapse of the Tower" post. You can also click on the link to a faculty letter of support, which you can print, sign and send or you can cut and paste and send through e-mail.

  12. Great...oh...and more unbelievable radio silence from the Star about this, the cuts, and vote.

  13. I have another idea for how the UA community might support Jacob Miller. It's the Chalk is Cheap campaign. We all carry chalk around and write messages with it, only on the ground of course. To offset the $1000/chalking costs, we could leave little packets of alcohol wipes by our messages too.

  14. Reports are circulating of yet another student arrest this morning. Sallygradstudent is reporting that Evan Lisull was arrested for what we can assume is chalking. The faculty needs to respond swiftly this time. Let us not again lament our weakness in failing to act on behalf of our students.

  15. You have got to be kidding me. If this second arrest is genuine, the Admin is doubling down on stupid. I was expecting that the president would drop the charges this week "after careful review" or some such nonsense. Now, it would appear, they actually are going to prosecute. How stupid can they be.

    We must, as faculty, do something. Least of all, help with the defense. I hope departments will send letters of unanimous opposition to these arrests. I would love to know what the faculty poll would be like now. Its not just that the administration is actively trying to suppress dissent, they are making the UA look like a bunch of idiots. All of this over chalk?

  16. I agree. Is there a way that we can send and sign a joint letter that can go to Chief Daykin and our President? In addition, I think it should be press released. How can we sign it and add names?


  18. We understand that some departments are preparing letters of protest from their faculty against this outrage. freedom of expression seems to be a fundamental right everywhere but on the UA campus. The silence of other top ranked administrators on this topic speaks volumes. Once again, the tower has gone into bunker mentality. Where is the V.P. of Student Affairs, Melissa Vito, under whom the graduate student organization reports? We thought this was era of graduate student representation in the affairs if the university? And where is the Dean of the Graduate College in all this?
    Let's make them earn their money? This Evelyn would like to suggest (a bit tongue in cheek) a "flash chalk", which is derived from the concept of "flash mobs". That is, mass text messages are sent out telling everyone to meet in one place and do one thing. In this case, in front of the administration with sidewalk chalk!

  19. The second student arrested today, for free speech, was a double major in Economics and Political Science.

  20. I think we should have a hop-scotch protest. Everyone on campus should come out with chalk and play giant games op hop-scotch on pretty much every level surface.

  21. It made the Star.

  22. A site has been created to streamline faculty support for Jacob Miller, Evan Lisull, and all others who will no doubt suffer silencing, charges and fines for their speech acts at the UA during these trying times. You can read the petition(s) and sign-on in support of it.

  23. We need a Ward Churchill moment on campus--something so big, so NATIONAL that silencing simply won't be possible.

  24. Not only did they arrest Evan for chalking, he is the author of the Desert Lamp blog, which has been critical of central administration.

  25. Maybe Rachel Maddow will pick up this story and run with it. The Chalking Capers, that is.
    This is shameful.
    I'm an alum, a donor to my major department, and an employee (just a lowly staff member, not faculty). The whole thing is shameful.

  26. Evan and Jacob have just had to charges dropped by Shelton. Heard it on NPR just now.

  27. Last post is a little misleading. Star reports that though the charges will be dropped both students will be reported to Dean of Students Office under a code of conduct violation. This is still a punishment, and does not resolve the issue in the least. Speech acts will now be punished internally. Not good enough.

  28. Hell no...not good enough. They want to take care of it "in house" like all things. Instead of having over 300 students signed up on Facebook pledged to make a massive scene at the courthouse when the case came up.

    Also, guess they weren't ready for a whole damned lot of chalk tomorrow.

  29. Don't make this into more than it is. As a faculty member I do not want students putting graffiti up the walls of buildings or structures, whatever they wish to say. Sidewalks are OK, buildings are not. This is not about freedom of speech, although it was handled badly at the start (when the President was at the ABOR meeting). Can people please calm down here and focus on what really matters.

    This is a distraction from the real issues we are facing. We need to be smarter than that.

    Lynn Nadel

  30. Exactly what part of the Student Code of Conduct is at issue? This unfortunate document has very strange overlaps with Arizona law in several critical places.

  31. This is not a distraction from the real issues being discussed here. It is an evidence how the current administration handles disagreement. They have had the option to send the two students to Dean of Students Office in the first place. But they chose to call UAPD. Moreover, the second student only did sidewalk drawing. And sidewalk drawing or even graffiti on the walls are not first time in this campus. Did anyone get arrested?

  32. Lynn, How can you suggest that the Jacob/Evan incident is not part of the issues we are facing. The incident is another example of this administration's autocratic style. They use threats and intimidation to keep faculty and other "underlings" in line and now they've extended their methods to students. We should be outraged and we clearly see this is part of the bigger picture. Why don't you?

  33. Let's agree to disagree on this one. I was not here when the actual events transpired. But then again neither were the President and Provost. From what I have been able to gather (which may be wrong or incomplete) we really don't know who authorized the arrests in the first place. Please correct me if I'm wrong -- I've been trying to get real information on this since returning Saturday night.

    I spent time with the President and Provost today. They are exhausted, from the ABOR meeting, from reacting to, and trying to frame a response to, the poll, and from doing their jobs. It's possible the President could have "fixed" this a bit sooner, but I really don't see it as proof of autocracy. I see it as just an incident gone awry. I'm not big on conspiracy theories -- sometimes things just go wrong, with no one specifically acting the devil's part.

    Again, I would be happy to admit I'm wrong upon hearing specific details of who did what, or said what, and when. But until then I'm inclined to give them a pass on this one.

    And I for one have never been the target of "threats and intimidation", nor have I heard of anyone making such a claim about President Shelton - again, please correct me if I'm wrong. Until then, I would urge more careful use of language.

    I might add that though I have been playing a visible role in the blog, and participated in creating the poll, I have not been threatened, intimidated, or shunned by the President and Provost. I have not been excluded from President's Cabinet, nor relieved of my position as Chair of SPBAC, which by the way the President has the right to do. These facts about behavior also mean something.

    I'm just trying to stay honest and candid, in all directions. Which means I'm going to disagree with you and other bloggers as readily as I do with the President and Provost, if I think you, or they, are going off course.

    Lynn Nadel

  34. Dr. Nadel, the entire time this post has been open, you had not one thing to say about this issue. So of course it is only when Shelton has the students' charges dropped (substituted actually), and after everyone's done their part to help secure that, you come in and tell us to calm down? That this is not about free speech? That you don't want graffiti on buildings? Graffiti, really? Because these arrests, and our discussions, have absolutely nothing to do with graffiti, nor with buildings, but with chalk, a writing instrument, pavement, and a student's consitutionally protected right to symbolic expression. So technically, its all about free speech. But not graffiti.

    Let us not fool ourselves, these arrests were not mistakes by the UAPD, these dogs were released at a very specific time and with a particular agenda. And when incidents like this happen, when students and their freedom of speech are at stake on a university campus, it should become the ONLY thing that matters, because there's nothing left of a university when they're gone. Maybe these are things of value only to the non-scientists among us, and that it was only non-scientists that saw it their social and intellectual responsibility to challenge the students arrests, but these non-scientists also know from graffiti.

  35. Dr. Nadel,
    My name is Rosalind Garcia and I am married to Juan Garcia. I think my family would disagree with your assertion that you don't know anyone who has been threatened, intimidated or shunned by the President for disagreeing.

  36. Rosalind,

    As soon as I posted that message I realized that I had "forgotten" the situation with Juan, who I consider a friend. I apologize, to you, your family and Juan.

    Separately to Anon (10:24) on my silence on the Jacob Miller affair --
    I was on the east coast when this all happened and did not want to talk about something I had little knowledge of in detail. I still don't know exactly what happened.

    What I do know is that a distinction was drawn between chalking the sidewalk (permitted) and chalking vertical surfaces (not permitted). This seems a technical point but its important because it shows that completely unfettered freedom of speech is NOT the issue here, and to claim that it is is disingenuous. I repeat that I am not in favor of permitting students or anyone else to mark up the walls of our buildings. And I wager that the vast majority of my colleagues at the UA, scientists and non-scientists like, would agree with me on that. There are plenty of horizontal surfaces to freely express one's thoughts. This whole issue is being built up into something way out of proportion to its meaning, and if you and others wish to make this the centerpiece of your fight with the administration and its policies you are making a major tactical mistake. Do you imagine that the public or any other external constituency whose support we need if we are to solve our real problems, will stand with you in support of the right of students to chalk up our buildings in the exercise of free speech. I enjoyed the 60s as much as anyone, but this is not Paris, or San Francisco or Mexico City or Prague in 1968. Let's be smart about the battles we choose to fight.

    Lynn Nadel

  37. Thank you, Lynn.

  38. Lynn,
    This might be source of the confusion:
    neither of the students chalked up a building. they were arrested as they were chalking up the pavement, and that's the issue.

  39. Anonymous said...


    This IS an important battle to fight. It is absolutely revolting that in an editorial to the Star, Shelton and Hay appealed to students, faculty and staff to protest publicly rather than in dark corners and on anonymous blogs. The students came out publicly, as they were asked to do, protested the budget cuts and yes, dared to question UA leadership. And for that they were arrested with no proof that they were the ones who wrote on vertical surfaces. Now Evan's and Miller's punishments are going to be taken care of quietly so they can't become the newest martyrs on campus.

    I'm happy you are engaging in dialogue with all parties Lynn, I really am. But as far as S/H being exhausted by their jobs... they made their beds, let them lie in them. I'm sick to death of their intimidation, combined with false sympathy to the faculty and staff on campus. They've had plenty of opportunities to set things right, to save jobs, to assist departments using creative solutions. They ignored them all in favor of autocratic rule.

  40. I actually would like to thank Lynn for providing this blog with a counter perspective. I think the point she raises, that this is not Mexico 1968, or that this controversy may become a distraction is a valid one to a certain extent. Some may become so focused on issues of free speech that they may disassociate the arrests as effects from an administration and a climate that “seems” to take offense to public statements that disagree with the status quo. While clearly these events are not equitable to those tragedies in Kent State or Mexico or any other institutional moment where the presence of the law was marked in hypervisible ways, the point of this blog and others that we are trying to prevent and ensure that those types of incidents, and that type of hostile climate does not become part of our institution.

    Again, I have tremendous respect for you Lynn, and I appreciate the perspective you bring, but Im not sure if the line between “graffiti” and “expression” are as demarcated as you make them out to me. I know for a fact, that the sidewalks of this university have been chalked up before, and I can also tell you for a fact that other institutions, top research universities with higher and more “prestigious” rankings,have sidewalks that occasionally have chalked writings or images. I have yet to hear of arrests at other locations or previous arrests at this campus. If our response as faculty has appeared dramatic, please understand that our response only matches what some of us feel was a dramatic response to an innocuous form of protest. This could have been so easily resolved if UofA administration dropped the charges, and promised not to further penalize these students. And although I also understand your point that none of us can definitively “prove” that the arrests or this fiasco is directly linked to the President and Provost, they have the final say in most affairs. If not them, then who is responsible? They either condone or reprimand the people that work in their behalf, and in that respect, they are directly related to this event.
    I hope my brief comments may answer some of your questions, the one thing I would like to stress to this cyberspace community is that we should keep our tone cordial and respectful, we cannot complain of a form of pseudo “fascism” and then be hostile to others that do not agree with our perspective. Let me stress, I am not saying that currently we are being hostile to anyone, I am just saying, lets keep our tone respectful and inviting.

  41. Thanks for this last post by Anon 5:59. If I sounded at all disrespectful I am sorry. I was, as usual, trying to make my points emphatically. I agree it could have been handled better, and that the folks at the top are ultimately responsible for everything that happens at the UA. But that's a pretty heavy load isn't it. That means they are also responsible to the Regents if one of us makes some kind of inflammatory statement, and so on.

    By the way, I'm male not female, just for the record.

    Lynn Nadel

  42. Lynn,

    I apologize for sexist assumptions. I had not realized that I had inadvertently used a gendered term.

    Also I in no way meant that your tone has been disrespectful. On the contrary, that remark was meant for some of the other "bloggers." I felt that sometimes their tone/comments towards some of your observations were a bit harsh. I just wanted to remind everyone that we need to respect dissent. That includes dissent towards this blog, or our perspective.

    Again, my sincerest apologies for inadvertently referring to you as female. I think your comments have been insightful and polite.

  43. With all due respect, none of us thinks that the President and Provost has to be everywhere, but this incident shows a lack of judgement. The right move would have been to act quickly, drop the charges, and quickly state publicly that the Tower greatly values free speech...and then issue a clarification of what the rules are and why they are in force.

    This should have been done on Friday. Instead, the conflict was allowed to spiral...and it got away from them.

    The University is now more delicate than it has been before. President Shelton has done a great job of enlisting student support. This is definitely a time when you don't want to lose that support.

    I would really like to know who called from the Tower, as has been suggest, and why. I would also like to know why there was a period of hours that went by for the police to go to the rally, wait for the student, and track them down.

    This appears to be much much more than an officer seeing activity and then making a decision whether to enforce the law or not. The officer was directed...and enough pressure was put on, it appears, for them to pursue this hours later.

  44. To Anon 9:11 -- no need to apologize for the gender mistake. It's been happening for 60+ years and mostly works to my benefit.

    I am going to ask to be allowed to "cash in" some chips -- and request that the discussion of the chalk incident be dropped. I am hoping you will be willing to trust me when I say there was no pressure put on from significantly higher sources in this incident. Those at the top are willing to take the blame, which I respect, but they should not beaten up any more on this one.

    I say this also because I just heard this morning that a young UA police office died accidentally in San Diego within the past day or so, while scuba diving. Young, just married, with a child.

    I think someone made some mistakes concerning chalk. There was in my view no conspiracy, and need to further expose those mistakes. Lets move on to more important matters, remembering at every moment how precious life is and what really counts.

    Lynn Nadel

  45. The faculty over at ChalkisSpeech have just posted an open letter to Pres. Shelton regarding Jacob Miller and Evan Lisull and his decision to hand disciplinary authority over to the Dean of Students, which we feel still constitutes a punitive response to student expression. Those who wish to continue discussing this matter can feel free to do so there.

  46. Interested parties are welcome to pick up the conversation again here also. We encourage an in depth discussion of the administration's decision to make this an internal, but likely still punitive matter. We appreciate Dr. Nadel's position on the matter, but his position is not necessarily that of all the Evelyns.

  47. Or even ANY of the Evelyns - I'm another who does not share Lynn Nadel's view that this is a minor issue. It is not a minor issue. Nor do I support president Shelton's "compromise" solution - sending the "offenders" up to defend themselves against charges of Code of Conduct violations.
    Violations? It was Jacob's and Evan's rights that were violated. And with them, the rights of all of us. And all the lofty statements about the "essential core of the University" are only pious platitudes if faculty only fight back when OUR rights to be heard are ignored or repressed, but turn a blind eye when our students' rights are trampled. Sure, let's give the president a "pass" on this one, and the "benefit of the doubt" because in his heart he really does honor, cherish, and celebrate freedom of speech.
    Except sometimes.
    Fortunately, Evan Lisull, whom we respect and whom we've come to think of as a colleague (his blog, the "Arizona Desert Lamp" is infinitely more interesting than ours), is marvelously articulate, informed and connected. Which is not to say "he can take care of himself;" he needs and deserves our strongest support.
    So do yourself a favor: read what Evan himself says about how it feels to be treated like a criminal for doing what we taught him to do - use your head, think critically, be a good citizen, think about others, believe in justice, believe in making a difference, have the courage of your convictions, and so forth. You know, it's funny. People do brave things and those around them say they're criminals. Then when they're vindicated History calls them heroes.
    Here's Evan's latest:

  48. Desertlamp and chalkisspeech are reporting that all remaining administrative charges against Evan Lisull will be dropped. No news of Jacob Miller yet.

  49. Fantastic. A wise decision by our leadership and I thank them for it.

    To those of you who stood up publicly and privately...well done also.

    And thanks to Evan and Jacob for their time, hard work, and for the week or so of worry.