M E M O R A N D U M
TO: Campus Community
FROM: Paul T. Killpatrick,
DATE: December 5, 2011
SUBJECT: Occupy Seattle Exit Strategy
A Thurston County Superior Court judge on Friday upheld a Seattle Community College District emergency rule that prohibits camping on the Seattle Community Colleges’ property.
The Emergency Rule is an amendment to Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 132F-136-030, outlining permissible activities on the Seattle Community Colleges’ property. The new rule states: “College property may not be used for camping, defined to include sleeping, carrying on cooking activities, storing personal belongings, or the erection of tents or other shelters or structures used for purposes of personal habitation.” The rule will be in effect for 120 days. The college district has started the process to adopt a permanent rule.
I will be meeting tomorrow morning with representatives of Occupy Seattle to establish a timeline for posting of trespass notices and a peaceful and orderly exit strategy.
I would like to share with you the text of the address I made last Thursday at the General Assembly (GA) of Occupy Seattle stating our commitment to working collaboratively with Occupy Seattle to ensure a peaceful and orderly exit strategy:
“Thank you for allowing me a few minutes to address your General Assembly.
My name is Paul Killpatrick. I am the president of Seattle Central Community College.
I wish for you to know I am supportive of many things that you believe in. I am here tonight to discuss a possible exit strategy from Seattle Central. I’ve had weekly meetings with some of your members and I understand that Seattle Central was not your first choice to relocate – with good reason. We are not set up to host an encampment. To that end we need to discuss an exit strategy – a strategy that will ensure that no one will be injured, that violence will not be used.
I hope that we can send a message of peace and true communication to the rest of the world – that when reasonable people assemble solutions can be found. That is why I am not waiting for the courts to decide if an injunction is possible or not.
I wish to start a good faith effort today. Let us show the rest of the world that Seattle is different. We can make this work. To quote Cornel West, “Occupy is not a place, it is a movement.” This is my message to you tonight. Thank you.”
On Friday, I sent a follow-up email to a representative of Occupy Seattle stating, “The college is still interested in having an open discussion with interested members of Occupy Seattle. As I said at the G.A. last night, the college is committed to seeking a peaceful resolution and an orderly exit strategy. This is something that is going to take collaboration between the college and Occupy Seattle.” I requested this message be posted on Occupy Seattle’s website in the form of a “Message from Dr. Paul Killpatrick, President of Seattle Central.”
Further information about the Emergency Rule along with a link to the news release is available on the Chancellor’s Blog.
The last six weeks have been difficult and tense for many of us. I hope we will see a peaceful resolution to this situation soon, and I hope that Occupy Seattle finds a new, more manageable home.