Note: Below is the transcript from Chancellor Robert
M. Berdahl's press conference held Sept. 5, 2002. The
questions follow a statement
from Chancellor Berdahl.
The article (in the student journal, The California
Patriot) suggests that things like the Star Spangled
Banner, God Bless America and the flag just might be
banned by the University.
That's absolutely absurd. We sing the Star Spangled
Banner frequently on this campus, before every football
game, before every basketball game. The banning of the
flag is an absurd comment as well. There's no suggestion
of that. There's no thought of that.
What do you think of the ASUC (the campus's student
government) decision last night to use white ribbons
in place of red, white and blue ribbons?
I'm told that was a financial decision because the white
ribbons were cheaper. We told them well, if that's the
problem we'll pay for red, white and blue ribbons. We'll
have red, white and blue ribbons.
Jessica Quindel (the president of the graduate student
organization) said the white ribbons were going to be
(used) because red, white and blue ribbons could offend
I don't think that's the case at all. It doesn't offend
anyone, as far as I'm concerned, and we're paying for
red, white and blue ribbons.
So there will be red, white and blue ribbons
Will there be, during the half-hour, will there be a
Pledge of Allegiance, will there be a school-sponsored
Pledge of Allegiance or Star Spangled Banner?
I don't think that the final planning of that event
is in place as yet, and so I can't tell you exactly
what's going to be there. I want that part of the program
to be thoughtful, to be meditative, to be reflective,
to honor those who died. There will be music and there
will be some statements
I will speak, as well
as the student leaders organizing this event.
If red, white and blue ribbons have already been distributed,
why does Jessie Gabriel, ASUC President, and Jessica
Quindel of the Graduate Assembly state that only white
I really don't know, but we've been in touch with Jessie
Gabriel about this and there are going to be red, white
and blue ribbons. That's all.
Are you concerned about the idea of offending anyone?
About the idea of offending anyone? With a memorial
No, no, with red, white and blue ribbons.
No. No. As I said, we have flags hanging on this campus,
one right outside this building. We sing the Star Spangled
Banner. This is not an unpatriotic campus.
Do you see that there's become a concern raised by Jessica
Quindel in saying that the red, white and blue ribbons
would cause a concern?
Why would they cause a concern? I don't know. She can
speak for herself. She doesn't speak for the University.
I speak for the university.