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Communicate with the Senate

STATEMENT TO THE MEDIA
by University of Hawai'i President Kenneth P. Mortimer
March 23, 2000

The only action taken by the administration was to put a contingency plan in place, due to concern for the safety and security of all people on campus students, faculty, regents and others from the community. I have been through protests on other campuses in which both participants and onlookers were harmed. I do not intend for that to ever happen at any University of Hawai'i campus.

Our Dean of Students and our head of Campus Security were told, in a March 9 meeting with student leaders, that as many as 1,500 student and community protesters could be expected. They were also told that students were committed to a non-violent protest, but that the students could not guarantee peaceful protest from outside protestors who were expected to attend.

We, therefore, decided it was best to be prepared in case activity began that was physically harmful to anyone. We advised the Department of Public Safety of our concern, and asked only that officers trained in such situations be provided to stand-by, should harmful activities take place. Fortunately, they were not needed, and, in fact, I personally asked them to leave campus when it became clear that they wouldn't be. There was no interaction between the protesters and the stand-by Public Safety contingency. And, at no time was the Honolulu Police Department called in by the University. They show up on their own at these things.

The decision to bring canines was made by the Department of Public Safety. When we learned of their presence, we asked that they be removed immediately.

Again, let me emphasize that the administration chose to have this contingency plan out of concern for all, including our students.

MARCH 16 PROTEST AT UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI'I
BACKGROUND FACTS
ON THE PRESENCE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT


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