The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Re: “Students parody CSUN-Pepsi contract with Manzanita hall demonstration,” published Nov. 2.

Someone needs to clarify the matter of Professor Tony Perruci’s class project on Oct. 25. I will step up to bat and take a swing at this.

The supposedly well- meaning Communications class went overboard when it decided to police Manzanita Hall for a mere 20 minutes around noon-time on Oct. 25. As students attempted to enter the building with non-Pepsi drinks, the 15 students plus one idiotic costumed avenger decided to forcefully prevent people from entering and even search their persons. I will forgive the costumed clown for being a minor irritation to journalism students, but I will not forgive the others for taking part in criminal and tortious conduct.

Apparently Perruci never bothered to seek legal counsel before authorizing this class project, otherwise he might have heard of a few terms such as battery, false imprisonment, and invasion of privacy. Perruci’s students committed battery when they unlawfully used force to prevent students from entering the building and searched their persons.

Despite Jason Henke’s claim in the Sundial article, the students did not violate anybody’s Fourth Amendment rights. The Fourth Amendment only protects against intrusion from government officials. As far as we know, the students were not authorized by the university to police the building. They were not acting in a governmental capacity. Therefore, the point is moot, though his conclusion is correct in that they could not lawfully search anyone.

No private citizen has the right to search another. You do not need an amendment for that claim. The journalism students had the right at any point to prevent the searches and even enter the building.

Perruci’s students committed false imprisonment when they unlawfully restricted the journalism’s students’ freedom of movement to search them. They also committed an invasion of privacy by simply searching the other students. Citizens have a right not to be frisked by others for simply going to class.

I do not know what is more pathetic: the fact that these self-appointed security guards believed they could search students at random, or the fact that the complacent student body actually complied with this juvenile treatment.

Score one for true CSUN student activism. They had the opportunity to tell 16 of their wannabe rent-a-cop peers to shove and it and they blew it. It is protesting at its finest. Nothing shows big brother you are ready to fight for your rights like bending over to your fellow classmates and giving them the green light.

Perruci hoped that the project would help promote student activism. Sorry Professor, but your class failed miserably under that criterion. It only showed that one person possessing a Ph.D was capable of doing something truly active by showering one of your students with the cold water of dissent. My hat goes off to you Kathryn Sorrells.

Perruci’s class is planning two more events before the end of the semester, possibly in a similar fashion to Thursday’s activities. Brilliant. But I have a request to make for Perruci: Do not mark your students down on their performance when one of them returns to your classroom with a foot up his butt. Who knows, some person might actually use that grey matter between his ears and realize your students have no authority to do what they did.

Mike Siciliano,

Senior journalism major

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