In terms of issues with campus police, there is no shortage of other universities where student activists have fought for better understanding and diversity training for their school’s officers. Often these issues arise out of police misconduct, but this isn’t always true. I tried to find specific examples that weren’t responses to a violent act by the campus police, since there hasn’t been anything like that on our campus.
At the university of Chicago, student activists started a movement called the Campaign for Equitable Policing. This movement aims to end racial profiling by the UC campus police, and is composed of students and residents. In October 2014, they held their first meeting which allowed students, faculty, and community members to share grievances and suggestions for improvement for the community as a whole. I think that this would be a very good direction for our project. We’ve already talked about having a sort of open forum for similar discussion, and I think that it would be just as beneficial as it was at UC. A community forum makes it more of a cohesive cooperative interaction and doesn’t seem like any blame is being placed unjustly or that anyone is being attacked.
In another article (http://feministcampus.org/blog-post-concerning-the-central-michigan-university-police-chief-and-sexual-assault-alerts/) which sounds like it possibly comes from an alternate universe in which our class is taking place, a woman explains how she taught her campus police to more tactfully address the issue of sexual assault. She discusses meeting with the chief of campus police before publishing an angry article about the matter, and being surprised at how willing they were to work with her. She mentioned that she was working with several different campus diversity groups to better educate the campus police on how to respond to sensitive issues, and working to get them sensitivity training. I hope that our campus police will be just as responsive to this type of meeting, and that we can create a similar productive dialogue. This article really stood out to me because she was, like us, in a class about writing for change, and was upset at the lack of respect for sexual assault survivors from the police force. I think that it really shows that their campus police was very willing to educate themselves to better serve the student body, and I really do have faith that DPS will be equally interested in strengthening their relationship with the rest of the Transy community