The 20 commission members represent a broad spectrum of the UNC community, including undergraduate and graduate students, professors, the dean of the students and a former Chapel Hill Police chief, among others.
All appointments will be for two academic years, and all appointments are eligible for two terms of reappointment, according to the email. More appointments may be added in the future.
The University has also retained Chris Swecker, attorney and former FBI assistant director, as an outside consult to conduct a review into several incidents on campus, according to UNC Media Relations.
The Chancellor’s announcement on Monday came amid growing concerns over the state of campus safety and increased scrutiny of campus police.
Earlier this week, professor Jay Smith created a petition, signed by more than 100 UNC faculty members, calling for a public investigation into several events on campus that have sparked questions over campus policing.
On March 16, some members of the Heirs of Confederacy group carried firearms on campus, and no arrests were made. Weeks later, members of the same group vandalized the Unsung Founders’ Memorial. Lindsay Ayling and Maya Little, two anti-Silent Sam activists, said on Twitter that the graffiti called them out by name.
At a meeting on Monday, the Faculty Executive Committee discussed the petition and passed a resolution stating their support for the Chancellor’s initiative and requesting updates on the independent review.
Mark Porlides, history graduate student and anti-Silent Sam activist, said he thinks the commission needs to include activists who have been directly involved with protests in its membership.
“I fear that the thrust of this body will be looking at protesters, and sort of putting the burden on protesters to make things better,” Porlides said.
De’Ivyion Drew, first-year student and commission member, said she sees her role on the commission as more than just a chance to express her own thoughts on campus safety, but as an opportunity to represent a larger group of voices at UNC.
“I, as the undergraduate student, do not see just me, De’Ivyion Drew, as a member of the commission,"Drew said. "I see myself as a representative of multiple people, specifically the marginalized and people of color on this campus. I do not speak for myself. I speak for a collective of people, and with that, comes a great weight."
Going forward, Drew said she thinks the commission will have to reimagine a new system of security and power to implement substantive change on campus.
“I would like to see UNC Police completely abolished from campus,” Drew said. “Historically and now, they have repeatedly abused their power against students, which is the very constituency that they are in contract to protect. I believe that due to irreconcilable differences that they must be abolished, and that a new alternative, community-oriented – not a police force – but an accountability force will have to be placed.”