UC President Janet Napolitano publicly apologized Thursday for describing a disruptive student protest as "crap" the day before.
"I'm sorry for using a word I don't usually use," Napolitano said at the start of Thursday's regents meeting at UC San Francisco. Her choice of the word, she said, was "unfortunate." But she also asked for "empathy and understanding" in what led Wednesday to her videotaped tart remark she had meant as private.
As student protesters interrupted Wednesday morning's UC regents meeting with chanting and partial disrobing, Napolitano turned to UC regents chairman Bruce Varner and said: "Let's go. We don't have to listen to this crap."
With all the yelling in the room, few others probably heard her at the time but her comments were caught on a UC video stream of the meeting that is posted on the regents website.
A group of about 30 students had started loud chanting and some stood up on chairs and stripped down to underwear or exercise clothes to symbolize what they said was having to give the shirts off their backs for higher tuition. After police warnings, they left the room and no arrests were made. Napolitano and the regents, who had left the room, then returned and resumed the meeting.
During her apology Thursday, Napolitano noted that the protest had interrupted the public comment period and regents discussions that were meant to help solve the budget problems facing the university. She said that "protecting the accessibility, affordability and quality" of UC education is the most important work ahead.