Education

UC Berkeley Students Protest That Due Process In Sex Assault Cases Is ‘Insensitive’

A group of students at the University of California, Berkeley participated in a silent demonstration on Tuesday to protest parts of a national campus sexual assault conference that they didn’t like.

Among the things the angry students did not appreciate is “fair process” for people accused of committing sexual assaults. The students, who placed duct tape over their mouths and held signs, charged that due process for such defendants is “insensitive,” reports The Daily Californian, the UC Berkeley campus newspaper.

The two-day national conference took place this week at the Berkeley DoubleTree Hotel.

The silent protest occurred during a panel discussion on ways to safeguard due process during sexual misconduct investigations. (RELATED: The Obama Administration Is Gripped By Radical Feminists Who Despise Due Process)

Demonstrators lined the perimeter of the room as the panel discussion transpired. Their signs described the testimonies of women who claimed to have suffered sexually assaults.

The protest was led by members of the Associated Students of the University of California — the taxpayer-funded school’s student council.

Students also had other complaints. For example, they were unhappy that the conference at the DoubleTree hotel, a full four miles from the UC Berkeley campus. Also, the timing was not ideal because many students have midterms on the horizon.

“There are aspects of the conference that are really positive,” Cal junior Meghan Warner, one of the protesters, told The Daily Californian. “There have been aspects that have been really horrible.”

Warner added that, in her view, the conference “clearly wasn’t focused on survivors.”

Warner’s Facebook page includes an image promoting Fossil Free UC (“TELL THE REGENTS TO DIVEST”) and a photo of herself with three cats.

A second unhappy Cal student, Sofie Karasek, griped that UC Berkeley calls itself a leader in the fight against campus sex crimes when she believes it shouldn’t.

“For (the campus) to act as a role model in this conference is insulting,” the student told the school newspaper.

Karasek has helped with numerous complaints against UC Berkely, The Daily Californian notes. According to her Facebook page, Karasek is a member of a handful of groups including Fossil Free Cal, the Coalition to End Rape Culture and Cats @ Berkeley, “a place to share your cats’ pictures.”

The bulk of the two-day event has been off-limits to members of the media because participants might be “less than forthcoming” if their statements could be reported, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel News.

As part of the conference, Anita Hill was scheduled to speak on the UC Berkeley campus on Wednesday.

Hill is famous, of course, as a footnote in American history for alleging in 1991 that Clarence Thomas shouldn’t be a Supreme Court Justice because, she claimed, he asked her on a date and told bawdy jokes — fully a decade before his Supreme Court nomination. (RELATED: Did Brandeis Student With ‘No Sympathy’ For Dead Cops Learn At Anita Hill’s Knee?)

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