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Graduate students are concerned that the power to take pictures of people participating in demonstrations may soon be in the hands of the police, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Chairperson Allen Orsi said yesterday. Orsi said University Council may vote next month to allow University Police to photograph students violating the University's open expression guidelines. He said graduate students oppose this proposal -- which would return power taken from police in the '70s -- because they think the officers may use the pictures to compile files on student activists. Last May, the University Council, an advisory board to President Sheldon Hackney, discussed allowing University Police to photograph students violating the guidelines because open expression monitors were uncomfortable doing so, said David Hildebrand, chairperson of the faculty senate. A decision was postponed until the next meeting in October because the Council was not yet prepared to decide, Hildebrand said. When a demonstration is held on campus, open expression monitors attend the event to ensure that the demonstration is not disrupted. If people disrupting the demonstration -- thereby violating the open expression guidelines -- refuse to stop their behavior and identify themselves, the monitors are supposed to photograph them for identification purposes, said Robert Davies, chairperson of the University's open expression committee. Davies said the monitors voted last spring to have the police take the pictures because they consider themselves student advocates and should not be taking pictures that might be used against students. The monitors also were concerned about being attacked if they attemped to take a photgraph and thought it "unlikely the police would be attacked," Davies said. "There've been occasions in the past where students refused to show their IDs and the monitors were frightened," Davies said. Davies said he is the only monitor who will carry a camera, and as a result he attends every demonstration. "I'm prepared to do it, because I feel the need to insure that the University regulations are fulfilled," Davies said. Graduate students said yesterday they think the police should not be taking pictures of the demonstrators. GAPSA passed a resolution last Wednesday opposing "the taking of pictures by University Police under the guidelines of open expression." Orsi said he was concerned with how the process would work. He questioned how a disruption would be defined, how the people would be identified from the pictures and what exactly would be done with the pictures. "It just doesn't sound like it's a good system, it's not even efficient," GAPSA Chairperson Allen Orsi said. "It seems that it's almost by default that they're asking the police to take the pictures because no one else wants to do it." But Davies said that throughout the several month-long debate, no pictures have been taken. "Ever since it was agreed that polariod cameras should be bought, not only have no photographs been taken, there was never an occasion when we needed to," said Davies. Hildebrand said that in only two incidents during his 27 years at the University have students refused to identify themselves. "It's kind of a nuisance problem," Hildebrand said. "I don't think the future of the University rests on this, but I find it fascinating; it's about who pushes the button." Hildebrand said it became an issue because people do not want a "police authority connected to something as important as open expression." The police are currently forbidden from taking photographs because "many years ago University security would often go to meetings and take records of who was there," Davies said. Hildebrand said he does not see how that situation could reoccur, however. "There's no question that when the picture is taken the picture is given over to the care of the open expression monitor," Hildebrand said. "It's so explicity stated. They push the button and the pictures must be immediately turned over to the monitors."

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