Thursday, April 21, 2011

The right response

Christian Michael Waterman, center

I think most of us would agree that everybody deserves a second chance (with the possible exception of pedophiles and Osama Bin Laden) especially if that bad behavior is a result of intoxication brought on by day to day pressures that can bubble over like a well shaken can of Pepsi.

Take Christian Michael Waterman, age 19, for instance. After ingesting enough psychedelic mushrooms to agitate an elephant he did stupid things resulting in an arrest by UMPD, a trip to the Cooley Dickinson Hospital and negative publicity on the pages of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, forever emblazoned on the Internet.

But rather than crawl into a hole and ignore his mistake or--even worse--defend it, Mr. Waterman did the right thing: acknowledging an error and sincerely apologizing for it.

Unlike the rowdy bad boys at 83 Morgan Circle who defend (note Comments--especially the most recent) their late night revelry that terrorizes neighbors, reduces property values and burdens the town treasury.
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DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
UMass student arrested after Thursday night scare at MacKimmie Hall
SCOTT MERZBACH
Staff Writer

AMHERST - A man exposing himself to student security monitors at MacKimmie Hall, a dormitory in the Southwest area of the University of Massachusetts campus, was arrested after several police officers subdued him on the night of April 14.

Christian Michael Waterman, 19, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was arrested at 10:10 p.m. on charges of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14, open and gross lewdness, disorderly conduct and being a minor in possession of alcohol, said UMass Deputy Police Chief Patrick Archbald.

Officers were called to the building's lobby after Waterman, a dual English and sports management major at the university, began disturbing students and tried to go through a binder containing personal information about visitors to the dormitory. Waterman then touched and grabbed a woman in the chest area, putting her in fear, before dropping his pants and underwear, Archbald said.

Archbald said Waterman also made several irrational comments during the incident, repeatedly yelling out "Wu Tang" and talking about former President Bush.

When officers got there, Waterman became combative and, after a brief struggle, was placed under arrest.

Amherst Fire Department paramedics also responded because Waterman may have been under the influence of narcotics, police said. He was brought by ambulance to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton for treatment.
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Thu, 04/21/2011 - 00:23 — CWaterman
I Tripped..and Fell

The article fails to mention the root cause of these lewd events. I took a near-toxic amount of psychedelic mushrooms and lost all control of my physical and mental faculties. I am deeply sorry for my transgressions and apologize to all of the people that I have hurt.

My time spent in the hospital over this weekend was eye-opening as my support system rallied around me. I thank my mother for rushing to my side in this tremendous time of need.

I literally have no recollection of these events, and I apologize to the security monitor specifically for overstepping bounds. Thank you to the UMPD for an excellent handling of my extreme belligerence.

I'm sure many will respond with skepticism and negativity, but this is the truth, I am sorry, and I all I can do is accept my consequences and move forward.

Thank you,

Christian Waterman

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Hey Christian,

I run the 'Only in Amherst' hyperlocal webiste and I'm a reporter for WHMP
news, and I just wanted to verify that you posted the apology on Gazettenet
article yesterday?

I wish more students would man-up and apologize for their bad behavior.

Last night I had someone--probably a rowdy student--defend the bad behavior of

party house residents by suggesting I hang myself.

Larry Kelley

http://onlyintherepublicofamherst.blogspot.com/2010/12/party-house-of-emester.html


#######################################
From: Christian Waterman
To: amherstac@aol.com

Sent: Thu, Apr 21, 2011 9:22 am
Subject: Re: Verification check on apology

Yes it's my sincere apology I'm trying to do as much damage control
and public relations work as possible to counteract this extremely
damaging story.

My life is being changed with every person that reads that article so
I at the very least want the truth to be out there concurrently.

I'd like to publish an article/apology somewhere about the mental
duress myself and other students are feeling under the pressures of
college. Even though this story is out about me, it means nothing to
the person I am and any thing else on the Internet suggests a
completely different portrait.

I spoke to the paper and apparently they are more than comfortable
with potentially ruining student's lives.

Thank you for Your recognition.

Christian Waterman

##########################################

On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 10:41 AM, wrote:

Hey Christian,
From a journalistic point of view the Gazette would be remiss to go back and edit the original story. You did what you did, and that is a matter of public record. But what they should do is follow up on the arrest article in a bigger way, and in a sense make you the 'poster boy' for the way to properly respond to having made a mistake.

Most people would agree that everybody deserves a second chance (with the possible exception of pedophiles).

Do you have a photo (headshot) I could use?

Larry



I like to use this shot..it's me and my mentor, professor Steve Jefferson

Sport management professor that had a near-fatal stroke last September..really was a life-changing event

He is trying to raise $25000 to fund his rehabilitation and return to the classroom so I would love to get him as much press

I really just want to apologize to all of the people that I have hurt and let down because I truly have been undergoing personal evolutions into a better human being

Only time will heal these wounds and my actions will have to speak louder than words

Here's some more of me in the media: bo.st/ThinkAlive

The Think Alive Foundation is also presenting 7 grants to Amherst Middle School students next Thursday and looking to secure media coverage..I can forward along the completed press release ..Visit thinkalive.org for more information


Support Japan,

Christian Waterman
Sport Management / English '13
Treasurer, Association of Diversity in Sport
Director of Programming, Real Music Xposed
(917) 628-1425







20 comments:

Ed said...

Larry, you don't honestly believe that he would still be anywhere near UMass if he were not (a) black, (b) involved with the sports department (note the backdrop) or (c) lucky enough to have a professor advocating for him?

Larry, you really don't believe that the apology was his own idea, do you?

Anonymous said...

He apologized for his bad behavior.

Definitely not from Amherst...

Anonymous said...

I hope he will do some outreach and public service speaking to kids in the area. It would do both him and them alot of good.

Roach patrol said...

Yay for the Sanderson family!


Good karma for great people!



NORTHAMPTON - An Amherst man is now second in command at the western Massachusetts office of Attorney General Martha Coakley. Bart Q. Hollander, an assistant attorney general for the last 11 years, was appointed deputy chief of the Springfield office by Coakley last week. Hollander had been acting chief since January, taking over for Janice Healy, who left to become Deputy Northwestern district attorney.

Ed said...

Three more things here -- first, note the alcohol charge. The untold story about beer & UM is that an increasing number of kids use it only to wash down the drugs. By his own admission, it wasn't beer that put the kid into the hospital for the weekend -- which would be at least three days which is a LONG time nowadays.

Second, this kid has had everything handed to him. UMass was there in high school holding his hand, he got into the SOM as a freshman (most kids don't until they are juniors), he hasn't had to fight for anything (at least here). By contrast, most UM students get absolutely nowhere without fighting -- it is amazing how badly they treat students on this campus.

And third, isn't it interesting that (as I understand it) this happened on Thurs night, but the story doesn't run until AFTER the ACT meeting on Wednesday. (ACT being the group that makes the decision if kids get kicked out or not, the subsequent hearings being little more than "show trials" now.) (And the truly responsible thing would be for him to turn in the dealer, and to say he did, the latter which would end a lot of dealing on this campus...)

It is racism to treat someone differently than others because of skin color -- it is equally racist to do it to a student's advantage as to the student's disadvantage...

Anonymous said...

Give it a rest Ed. This kid made a mistake and is taking responsibility for his actions. Give him a chance to redeem himself and his life.

Haven't you ever done something you later regretted? Haven't you ever made a mistake?

Good luck Christian. I hope everything turns out ok for you in the end.

Dale said...

I agree him just stepping forward in an effort to correct his wrong doings is commendable. Here is another typical example of why people are reluctant at times to correct a situation. This man tries to make the effort, and people can do nothing more than try to belittle him for it. I hope he can redeem himself and graduate to become a productive member of society.
Christian, I hope this truly has been an eye opening experience. Stay the path, stay off the shrooms, and pick your friends wisely . Remember if you hang with losers you will become a loser

Anonymous said...

Great article Larry. I love it. If this doesn't put faith back into everyone's heart about today's youth, nothing will. He made a mistake, he owned it, and he's making amends. He's a great kid. Everyone stumbles, it's what you do after you stumble. Thank you for printing this Larry.

Adam R Sweet said...

We all did crazy/stupid stuff in College. This guy is doing the right thing by apologizing and using it as an example for himself so he can move forward in a positive way. I have a lot of respect for that!

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I just hope the DA will take this into consideration and maybe drop the charges if Christian agrees to do some outreach to fellow college students.

He could most certainly start with the brats at 83 Morgan Circle or 23 Tracy Circle.

Anonymous said...

Ed, what do you know about Christian and what he's had to fight for? Nothing, so why don't you back off of that topic because you just kind of sound like a racist.

Also, you said "the truly responsible thing would be for him to turn in the dealer, and to say he did, the latter which would end a lot of dealing on this campus..." Turning in one drug dealer on a college campus is going to end "a lot" of the illicit drug dealing at UMass? Ha. Ha.

With that said, he shouldn't be praised as 'what is right with America.' Lets be serious, "If this doesn't put faith back into everyone's heart about today's youth, nothing will" is just a ridiculous statement. A lot of the youth today doesn't do shrooms... Or when they do shrooms they don't eat too much... Or when they eat too much they don't touch a security guards tits, get naked and resist arrest. Shit happens, sucks for Christian, but its not like college kids are gonna stop experimenting thats the name of the game and I'm all for it.

Anonymous said...

College kids will do stupid things no matter what university or college they are at. Amherst isn't some special city where we are all hardcore druggies. We are not even close to being a top party school anymore! As a UMass Amherst student, I can vouch that there are plenty of good kids who are responsible with their partying, drinking, and pot smoking (if they even do smoke pot). What makes the news in all aspects of media generally makes the news because it is rare and is an attention-grabber(which is why we don't have headlines everyday saying "UMass Amherst student Goes to Party, Has One Drink, Talks to Some Friends, Then Goes Home With Designated Driver."). While bad behavior should be punished, I don't think that all the good, responsible students at UMass should be lumped together with the minority of party kids that happen to make the headlines or the daily crime report. Bottom line: Bad kids are not "Only in the Republic of Amherst," and shouldn't be counted as the majority, unless you have compared the kids with legitimate crimes to the total number of students enrolled, or something of that matter.

Anonymous said...

Why not launch a slum lord of the week series, such as the rental on the corner of Fearing and McClure?

Christian Waterman said...

This is really me, hard to convince people of that of the internet but whatever.

I'm just laughing at Ed, thank you for your support everyone.

This has been a life-changing experience. I am ready to begin living a drug-free existence.

I have achieved measurable greatness while under the influence, so Ed, please stay tuned for my future endeavors with my new, clear mind state.

You're right about one thing Ed. I have fought so much adversity in my life, but I was taking for granted the opportunities that were handed to me. Never again.

I'm honestly surprised to receive so much support. Thank you so much everyone. Ed, thank you even more, your hate is keeping me going in these tough times.

THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Or asshole of the week? The Amherst supply is nearly infinite.

LarryK4 said...

Sorry Christian, I was away for a few hours: Anon 3:12 PM was playing off Anon 12:46 PM not you, as he could not see your comment until just a few minutes ago.

Ed said...

"Bad kids are not "Only in the Republic of Amherst," and shouldn't be counted as the majority, unless you have compared the kids with legitimate crimes to the total number of students enrolled, or something of that matter.:

I look at it this way: There are something like 25,000 students and probably only 8-10 officers on duty between both the APD & UMPD any given night. And while no one has ever given me an exact number (I think they also use some of the cells for evidence storage, not a bad idea) the Amherst Police Station doesn't have a very big jail.

Most students aren't getting arrested. Enough said?

Ed said...

Ed, thank you even more, your hate is keeping me going in these tough times.

If anyone wants to understand exactly where I am coming from, one need look no further than this one sentence, and the one adjective he uses. "Hate."

My position is threefold, first that we need to have one code of conduct on this campus, not three --- Dr. King championed a "color-blind" society -- the entire principle of Western law is that people who do similar things experience similar things.

You well may not know this Christian -- you honestly may not even know what the lynch mob known as ACT is, but I can assure you that you would no longer be a UMass student were your skin a different color. FERPA precludes me from mentioning facts (although your placing your facts in the public domain is going to be incredibly helpful in the complaints of racism and disparate treatment) but I personally know kids "who fell" like you did and who are not students anymore.

Who did far less than you did.

All I am saying is that there should be no racism in the enforcement of the CSC. That every student should be considered equal and treated equally -- and if you do something that is more extreme than what *many* similarly situated white kids did, either you should also get kicked out or they shouldn't have been because they made a mistake too...

This is hate?

(cont)

Ed said...

Second, this isn't about you Christian, this is about the UMass Division of Student Affairs and the fact that they are doing a lot of reprehensible things right now -- did you know that they have 5000 judicial cases a year (and that there are about 5000 freshmen)?

Do you know that they are in the process of kicking out a (white) kid for merely complaining about the noise in his dorm? Yes, seriously, they are....

And I am a racist hateful person for pointing out that but for the color of your skin (which really shouldn't matter, should it?), you would have suffered the same fate of your fellow students? (You gotta admit that you did more than just call up complaining about noise in the dorm...)

Christian, how many times has the US Department of Education slapped UMass' wrist for discriminating against you? (They have already done it four times for me, and will be doing it again shortly.)

A while back, my lawyer asked a very basic question: "What part of 10 days does UMass not understand?" -- something that UMass policy explicitly states must be done in 10 days wound up taking four months (and two lawyers) to get done. Have they done this to you?

The university maliciously delayed my graduation by two years (it should have been last spring) - have they done that to you?

What I am saying is that they should treat every student like you, to treat you as they treat every other similarly-situated student. That is hate?

(cont)

Anonymous said...

Ed...

Honestly you have no idea what you are even talking about in the least bit. You've spent what looks to be a good amount of your time (attempting) to slander this young man...but have failed numerous times.

Please Keep your raciest remarks to yourself, Christian is a good friend of mine who has suffered serious consequences already. He has received the same treatment as your fellow (white) kindred, I know first hand.

So before you open your ignorant mouth speaking nonsense again, maybe you should get the full story. Because your clearly out of the loop, and have no place speaking here.


Christian stay strong my friend. Take flight and rise above the hate.