Last Tuesday, university officers at UCLA stunned a student multiple times with a Taser, upon his refusal to show his student ID card at the school’s library.
Mostafa Tabatabainejad was at the library’s computer lab after 11 p.m. when only students are permitted to be there.
On a routine check of student IDs by campus police, Tabatabainejad did not have his and began to leave. While trying to exit, an officer grabbed his arm and he replied, “Get off me!” The officers then used a Taser on him.
The incident was recorded on a cell phone video camera and posted on YouTube. This incident was a gross display of abuse of power, but it is also a grim example of how some universities distrust their students.
Some universities treat their students like criminals, as if they are subversive pests out to ruin the institutions. They do this through strict “safety” rules.
Yes, it is commendable that universities make strong efforts to keep students safe, however, many of these regulations hint that they are less for safety and more for authoritative prowess.
UCPD Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Young said the routine checks are in place “because of the safety of the students.”
Why would it be more dangerous after 11 p.m. to be in the library than it is at 2 in the afternoon?
If a student like Tabatabainejad forgot his ID card (which happens to every student at some point), it’s unnecessary to throw the person out.
Students pay for those facilities and have every right to be there.
Student distrust is no stranger to Temple’s campus either. Administrators here often treat their paying customers as if they were common criminals.
Often at the corner of Montgomery Avenue and 15th Street, traffic cops scream at students. Shouts of “Don’t walk, stupid” and “I said STOP” are no way to treat us.
Universities, Temple included, have enough problems to contend with. They need to pick their battles.
We are not the enemy.