Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On David and Kyle's Conversation with Dean Huang and Dean Feldlum

It turns out that Dean Feldblum watched the video before she wrote that rather pathetic attempt at having a dialogue on Pomona's campus about abortion on Sunday.

I know this because David Daleiden CMC '11 and Kyle Kinneberg CMC '09 met with Pomona Dean Feldblum that day in CMC Dean of Students Jeff Huang's office. Dean Feldblum of Pomona watched the video at around 11:15 AM. The email that was sent to Pomona's campus was sent at around 2:15 PM.

David and I spoke about that earlier conversation about an hour ago. What follows are based upon my notes from his conversation with me.

David asked a lot of questions of Dean Feldblum after he showed her the video. He asked what policy they violated that led to the ban. Dean Feldblum admitted that the ban was NOT based upon breaking any policy.

David then asked why the letter from Dean Marcelle Holmes said otherwise and that there wasn't any communication between himself and the Pomona deans. Dean Feldblum said that there was communication between Pomona and Claremont. In fact, the only communication that occurred between David and the Claremont McKenna deans was a heads up from Dean Marana and Dean Castro that Pomona College and Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles were leaving "all options on the table" after they went to the event. Hardly the conversation to get David's side of the story that Dean Feldblum said those conversations were.
Dean Marana said that if there were a policy violation, David would be punished by a CMC judicical board. But she warned, again according to David, that "this will be just the start of a conversation." That conversation never happened and on March 4, David and Kyle were summarily banned from Pomona College.

David said that if he wasn't violating policy, he couldn't quite understand why he was being banned. Dean Feldblum replied that if he had more questions he should ask Dean Holmes, as she had said in her letter banning them.

David then asked if he should ask what policy that is to Dean Holmes. Dean Feldblum said that he was only permitted to ask her questions related to the extent of the ban and that she was "now in charge" of the situation.

David then asked her to discuss some of the procedures related to how they came up with the punishmenting of a ban and then Dean Feldblum said that he should ask those questions to Dean Huang! (Talk about passing the buck!)

At another point in the conversation, David asked about the policies regarding video taping public lectures at Pomona. Dean Feldblum said that the policy was on the school's website. David said that he had read it, but that it was limited to commercial use. David then suggested that he would put up the video on YouTube as that was not a "commercial" use. Dean Feldblum disagreed with David's interpretation of the policy and told him to go to the website and to "just read it." Well, for those of you who were wondering, here's the policy on videotaping. It just so happens that David is right.


Serg. Brin said...

If David is so clearly right, why isn't the video on YouTube?

Ilan Wurman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam Corcos said...

It is on YouTube. Check out an earlier post:

Devil's Advocate said...

the video policy is arguably applies to both commercial and private use. The sentence: "In general, permission for such photography will be granted only for the personal use of students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff and trustees of the College, or as a private record of an event (such as a wedding) for which the participants have rented a Pomona College facility." Implies that EVEN FOR PERSONAL USE you need to get the express permission of the Office of Communications before filming.

Additionally, this video was pretty clearly going to be used for either editorial purposes or photojournalism purposes, and now certainly has been. Even if you are not making money on them, I think these would certainly fall in the commercial realm.

The line between personal and commercial footage is blurred more and more with distribution like youtube, and the policy obviously needs to be clearer. That said, in this context, David really should have covered his bases by at least informing the head of the meeting or the speaker that he planned on filming before he started.

Especially when covering a topic with increased privacy concerns like abortion, the decision to discreetly film should have been handled better by David and Kyle. That said, the punishment was still way overblown.

Devil's Advocate said...

Also, CJ mentioned that he first directed David to the meeting. Were David and Kyle attending the meeting as journalists for the CI or the CC? In their capacity as officers for Live Action? Or were they really just going for their personal betterment. And if they were just going for personal use, why did they need a video camera?

Theresa said...

Informing the WU student leaders might have been a nice thing, but wouldn't have counted as permission to film. For Pomona, that comes from the Director of Communication, Mark Woods, in Alexander Hall.

Part of me wants to see what happens when someone gets permission from Mark without informing a discussion leader type person, and then can respond with "Why yes, I have permission, and no, it didn't have to come from you." But that's my schadenfreude side.

Anonymous said...

I think Devil's Advocate is wrong about the private use being imputed from the text about commercial use. Pomona explicitly and repeatedly uses the term "commercial." The private context is mentioned to indicate that even when students (or other Pomona-affiliated persons) hire commercial outfits to do the job, they still need a permission.