UC Berkeley chancellor has office "escape door" installed as security measure against protesters


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/09/uc-berkeley-chancellor-has-off.html


“To the Chancellor Cave!” ~ Nicholas Dirks, Chancellorman.


sure it seems clever now, but that’s just because I’m not UC Berkeley chancellor yet. See my innovative idea that is going to blow your mind, I will have a completely normal office except for about 3 feet in front of my large protective desk I will have a square painted on the floor with a large red X in the middle. When people come protesting I will receive them in my office, seemingly innocent of any malicious intent, I will ask them to approach the desk and stand over the larger red X. Then I will press a hidden button below my desk that initiates a remote control sequence opening a trap door EXACTLY AT THE SPOT THEY ARE STANDING!!! Brilliant right? Anyway I figure this trap door leads to a very long drop into a pit filled with sharks and alligators and cannibals, and that’s how I will handle my protester problem.

It’s a shame the current chancellor hasn’t thought about it, but not everyone can be a genius.



Dear Rasmussen, Bryan.

RE: Bondvillian office.

As we discussed earlier, I agree that your idea has some merit, but as the person in the office directly underneath yours, I feel it necessary to protest the sharks and alligators that are, as we speak, being moved in.

Best Regards,
Modusoperandi (Minion # 4271)


Given Berkeley’s history of protest I’m mildly surprised there wasn’t one already.


Sorry. You’re going to have to makes some adjustments thanks to OSHA and building codes. Especially in California.

The whole thing is funny, but it starts at 3:43, showing the more likely scenario on how it would work.


Dear Minion # 4271,

Are you canniballing it up yet or not. We agreed in last week’s meeting you would go cannibal, I am just concerned that this does not seem to be the email of a cannibal. Would a cannibal worry about some lousy sharks and alligators, or would that cannibal say I’m going to step it up a notch and file their teeth razor sharp and dye them with a horrifying red dye?

Please find your inner cannibal.

Best Regards,
UC Berkeley chancellor.


Dearest Chancellator,

My heartfelt apologies for the dreadful tone of my previous correspondence. I was under the misapprehension that we’d agreed middle-management (such as yours truly), would be like the Fine Young Cannibals. While I thought that seemed a little odd, I did not speak up as immediately as I am aware of your love of music from that era. In addition, earlier in the meeting this you had murdered my predecessor, Minion #4270.

In recompense, to make up for lost time I have eaten most of each of my slower and/or tastier staff. Additionally, I have raised a ticket with HR to get new staff.

Best Regards,
Modusoperandi (Minion # 4271)


Sorry, C. Montgomery Burns got a patent on that about a hundred years ago and has been filing continuations ever since to keep it active.

The original design had Burns stomping on the floor to tell the urchin he had living there to remove the support holding the trapdoor up.

Then he got fed up with the urchin demanding “food” and “water” and replaced him with a steam-powered system.

Later he became fascinated with this new-fangled “electricity” and had the design updated to use it.

But electricity is getting too expensive even for the owner of a nuclear power plant, so he retrofitted the system a couple years back to return to manual power. Only this time the urchin isn’t called an urchin – they have the grandiose title of “intern”.


I gave you a like, to signify my approval of your canniballing it up in style.


Dear Mr. Rasmussen:

As spokesperson for Save Our Sharks (SOS), I demand that you cease and desist from any and all plans to drop protestors on innocent sharks and alligators, many species of which are threatened or endangered, until full public consultations have been completed. At the very least, an escape route should be provided so that these majestic creatures can move safely out of the way of falling protesters.


I have ceased my plans and moved to the implementation phase. thank you.


No Batpole?


Very clever to throw the students off like this. The conference room probably has plenty of room to lock them all in while the chancellor exits through the front door.


Why does the sign say JUSTICE 4UC WORKERS? That doesn’t seem very nice.


For their next chancellor they can make it much smaller.


So, assuming that the chancellor of a top-flight school isn’t a drooling moron and given that what protests generally do is force them to resign which does not require that they physically capture them, why is the door being built?

Does the chancellor fear for their own safety? If so, why?

I mean, if I was running a protest group and the people running the place’s sole plan for me storming the administration building is to run away screaming, I’d really think I’d won rather comprehensively—wouldn’t anyone? No security summoned, no expelling everyone on grounds of hooliganism, just ingnomious flight and eventual resignation? That’s victory in my book. If you can get that, you can get anything they can possibly give you.


While I don’t see how allowing free speech requires that the Chancellor sit around and be detained – he is and should be free to leave – wouldn’t a well-organized protest simply block the second exit?