Student Police Review Board representatives to hold meeting Monday night

Student representatives from the UC Berkeley Police Review Board will be holding an additional meeting Monday night as part of an investigation of the events that occurred during the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protest.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau charged the board with investigating and writing a report on the protest by the end of January, but board chair Jesse Choper wrote in a letter to Birgeneau on Jan. 27 that the board was unable to meet this deadline due to a lack of student input over winter break.

“Our capacity to accomplish this has been greatly delayed by the fact that we believe it to be important to have substantial input from and participation by students, but they were simply unavailable in any meaningful sense between the 15th of December and the 15th of January,” Choper wrote in the letter.

Though the student representatives from the board held a previous workshop on Jan. 19 to elicit feedback from students on how to investigate the protest incidents, they felt it appropriate to hold another meeting as a follow-up now that they are further along in the investigation process, according to Eve Weissman, the campus Graduate Assembly representative on the board.

Weissman said the board hopes to complete the investigation in as timely a manner as possible, but that turning in the report by the end of January would not have given them the opportunity to hear from all interested parties.

“We wanted to make sure we had adequate time to fully investigate what happened,” Weissman said.

According to a campuswide email from Weissman and Omar Kunbargi, the ASUC representative on the board, the purpose of the meeting is “to discuss the (Police Review Board) investigation process, solicit input and feedback, and answer questions from members of the campus community.”

ASUC Student Advocate Samar Shah said at the end of the first meeting that there was an agreement that another meeting was necessary to allow more people to attend.

Though representatives attest that the meeting’s purpose is to answer questions and listen to feedback about the protest, Yvette Felarca — a national organizer for BAMN who has been active in campus movements — said the meeting would be a waste of time.

“They’re not independent from the administration or the police at all,” Felarca said.  “It’s just an attempt to try to claim that they did something when they actually have no intention of making any change.”

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Monday in the Madrone Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building and is open to the general public.

Courtney Moulds covers student government.