Hi, everyone. As you surely are aware, the last two weeks since our previous publication have been rather eventful on campus. While facts and insights regarding events like the Nov. 6 vigil, the Nov. 10 protest and the Nov. 13 walkout can be found in the news section of this week’s issue, The Hoot’s editorial board has decided to dedicate this space to send a message to the Brandeis community at large, as we value ourselves first and foremost as a voice for this community and we hold this role as nothing less than sacred.
Regardless of the political stances of any community member, it cannot be denied that what occurred during the protest on Nov. 10 was inexcusable. Video footage recorded by and obtained by The Hoot, which many of our editors have scoured over and over again throughout the last week, showed acts of police violence and brutality directed at Brandeis’ own students, directly sanctioned by the university. Police officers are seen intimidating peacefully protesting students, assaulting them and even weaving through crowds to target specific protesters. Three Brandeis students were even arrested, some claiming to have experienced injury and humiliation from the Brandeis and Waltham police forces (see our interviews with two of the arrested students in this issue).
Brandeis, who should be trusted to keep the students who spend their days on, and likely live on, its campus safe, has not only allowed them to be subjected to such brutality but in fact directly condoned it. They did so by calling upon Waltham police due to “unruly” students (who by all accounts were protesting peacefully and following instructions) and by hiring an external private security company. Since the arrests occurred, students have received no communication from the administration that shows any kind of concern for the safety of the arrested students. Additionally, Brandeis has (to The Hoot’s knowledge) not offered any kind of aid to arrested students. Not to mention the multitudes of students present at the site of the protest—whether or not they were participating in it—who were forced to witness their fellow students and community members being assaulted by university-sanctioned forces at our campus’s most central location.
The Hoot stands with the Brandeis community more than anything else. We stand with the community in condemning the university for these acts of violence that go against its purported mission of promoting social justice and dialogue. If you’re a member of the Brandeis community and you have grievances regarding how the university has handled recent events, we are more than happy to platform your thoughts and share them with the community at large. We accept opinion pieces from all members of the Brandeis community, and would love to hear your thoughts.
In the meantime, we ask that you please take care of yourself. Find comfort in other members of your community. During the upcoming Thanksgiving break, spend time with your family or friends. In the face of times when things feel overwhelming and those with authority seem to have no interest in our well-being, the best we can do is come together.
Below, there’s a QR code that links to an approval poll for Brandeis’ administration. We’d love to hear your thoughts, please feel free to fill it out. It is anonymous and was set up by The Hoot without admin involvement. Here is a link to the survey (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfcVxl0AC7SAcwlfTY8c6840Jc4aaO6UHOiwpgW2zYz6RUlkg/viewform?usp=sf_link).