Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz shared details regarding the Campus Safety Commission, which will look at all aspects of community safety, Monday afternoon in an email to the University community.
The commission will serve as advisors to provide guidance about "campus policing policies, practices and related actions," the email said. The need to build stronger relationships and communication between the campus community and campus police. The security needs and concerns of the campus community will be also considered.
Appointments to the commission will be for two academic years and all will be eligible for reappointments. Other members may be added in the future, according to the email.
Twenty people will serve on the commission, including three undergraduate students, four professors, a former chief of the Chapel Hill Police Department, a former student body vice president and the dean of students, among others.
The Daily Tar Heel spoke with some members of the commission to find out who is involved and what they hope the commission achieves.
Dr. Kim Strom-Gottfried is a professor of ethics and professional practice at the School of Social Work and director of the University’s Office of Ethics and Policy. Strom-Gottfried’s specialties include moral courage, ethics and social work education. She is the principal investigator of the UNC School of Social Work behavioral healthcare contract.
Strom-Gottfried said her goals as part of the Campus Safety Commission are “to rebuild communication and trust while making sure UNC is a safe and welcoming place to work, visit, study or reside.”
Lawrence Grossberg is a professor of communication and cultural studies at UNC. He has published 10 books, the most recent being, “We All Want to Change the World: The Paradox of the U.S. Left” and “Under the Cover of Chaos: Trump and the Battle for the American Right.”
Grossberg said he was invited to join the Campus Safety Commission by Interim Chancellor Guskiewicz after he attended one of Guskiewicz’ meetings with graduate students following the Silent Sam protests. At the meeting, Grossberg suggested that UNC create its own “civilian review board,” because he believed that the police response to the protests was the most disturbing part of it all.
Following his suggestion, Grossberg was invited to meet with a senior administration official to discuss his suggestion and share his research on such entities. Grossberg said that he will “enter the discussion with clear commitments and a modicum of optimism.”
Frank Baumgartner is a professor of political science at UNC. He specializes in writing about “public policy, lobbying and framing in both U.S. and comparative perspectives.” His most recently published book is “Suspect Citizens,” which discusses the contributions that racial differences make to routine traffic stops.
Baumgartner said that he immediately said "yes" when Guskiewicz asked him to serve on the Campus Safety Commission. He said he is very concerned about the risk of violence on campus and is hopeful that this commission will help in "finding a way forward."
Manny Garcia is a sophomore at UNC double-majoring in economics and film studies with a minor in entrepreneurship. He is the co-treasurer for Que Rico, a Latin dance team on campus, and the treasurer for Carolina Firsts, a student organization that is focused on helping first-generation students at UNC navigate through college.
Garcia said he is looking to gain insight from his fellow members on the Campus Safety Commission as to what “campus safety” means to them. He said he hopes both the commission and campus police will be willing to listen to the safety needs of the UNC community. Personally, Garcia hopes to “achieve in building an understanding relationship between the community and police as we address our campus’ safety and security needs, as well as campus policing, policies and practices.”
Emily Blackburn is a senior at UNC majoring in political science with minors in philosophy, politics and economics and business. Blackburn served as the student body vice president under the 2018-2019 Putnam Administration. In addition to this role, she served as the chairperson of the Student Advisory Committee of the Chancellor, Student Advisory Committee to the Dean of Arts and Science and the Student Leadership Advisory Committee to the Vice Chancellor.
As student body vice president, Blackburn put policies into place surrounding academic advising and curricula reform. Her hopes for the Campus Safety Commission include using her student connections to bring a wide variety of issues to the table, so all student can be ensured safety at UNC.
The below members of the commission did not respond to the request for comment.
Robert L. Campbell
Minister Robert L. Campbell is a member at large of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP. He was president of the branch from 2013-2016, where he initiated the Equity Campaign for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
Brian Curran came to Chapel Hill in 1982 after retiring from the U.S. Navy. He worked for the Chapel Hill Police Department and retired as chief of police in 2010.
De’Ivyion Drew is a first-year at UNC majoring in studio art and a member of Student Government’s executive branch. She was involved in the Silent Sam protests in late 2018, delivering a speech in which she said she did not feel safe as a Black woman at UNC. Drew suggested that the University replace the Silent Sam statue with a sculpture of LeRoy Frasier, John Lewis Brandon and Ralph Frasier — UNC’s first Black graduates.
Michael Gerhardt is a professor in constitutional law at UNC’s School of Law. He specializes in civil rights, the legislative process and constitutional conflicts, and has written and edited several articles, books and casebooks.
Gerhardt’s public service work includes advising members of Congress and White House officials on constitutional disputes. He also served on President Bill Clinton’s Justice Department transition team. Gerhardt's biography on the UNC School of Law's website states that he was the only “expert invited to speak behind closed doors to the entire House of Representatives, and he was the only joint witness to testify before the House Judiciary Committee" during Clinton's impeachment proceedings.
Manny Hernandez is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in the geography department at UNC. He is also the current president of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation. In March 2018, Hernandez was selected for the Frank Porter Graham Honor Society for providing outstanding service to the University.
Jim Herrington is a global health professional at UNC, the executive director of emerging partnerships for the Gillings School of Global Public Health and professor of health behavior in the Department of Health Behavior.
Herrington has done extensive work in West Africa, and said he sees “more commonalities than differences among people and populations,” according to the Gillings School of Global Public Health website.
Mary Beth Koza
Mary Beth Koza is the director of the Department of Environment, Health & Safety at UNC.
Richard Myers is a professor of law at the UNC School of Law. After graduating from UNC School of Law in 1998, Myers went on to serve on the United States Court of Appeals.
DeVetta Holman Nash
DeVetta Holman Nash is the resiliency and student support programs coordinator at UNC’s Student Wellness organization. She is also the strategic planner for diversity initiative and leads a group called “Sister Talk” for women of color.
Nash is also the UNC Faculty Advisor for the UNC Collegiate Chapter of the NAACP and Natural Girls Discussing Natural Curls.
Desirée Rieckenberg is the dean of students at UNC. Rieckenberg established the Student Care Team, the Carolina Veterans Resource Center and the Student Success Hub for Florence Recovery. Outside of the University, she serves on the NAPSA Center for Women as a national board member.
Charles Streeter is a database analyst for the Office of Student Affairs Information and the former chairperson of the Employee Forum.
Charles Branson Vickory
Charles Branson Vickory is an attorney from Mount Olive and the former district attorney. He attended UNC and went to Wake Forest University for law school.
Brandon Washington is the director of UNC’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office. In this position, Washington leads the University in complying with federal and state anti-discrimination laws, including Titles VI and VII. He also spent five years as an investigator, trainer and mediator with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.
Maya Weinstein is a second-year law student at the UNC School of Law pursuing a career in education law. She is the president of the Student Bar Association and an articles editor for the "North Carolina Law Review." Outside of law school, she is involved with the Jewish community and is the Graduate Student Programming Coordinator for UNC Hillel.
Weinstein said that she began law school days after the attacks in Charlottesville by white supremacists, and "the heightened awareness of hatred on college campus has been an underlying, if not dominant, element" of her time at UNC. She said she hopes to bring her perspectives on both sexual violence and anti-Semitism to the table while serving the Campus Safety Commission, as well as her legal education.
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