UNC’s Campus Safety Commission met Wednesday morning in a supplemental working session to review recommendations made by subcommittees relating to sexual violence and policing on campus.
Who is on the Commission?
- The Commission is made up of students, staff, faculty and community members.
- The Commission was assembled in April 2019, according to the commission’s website, to assess safety on campus, including the campus climate and culture around issues of safety.
- The Commission was created to address a “crisis of trust” between the campus community and campus police, relating largely to the events that accompanied the removal of Silent Sam, the website says.
- The Commission approved recommendations made by the sexual violence subcommittee to increase accountability and oversight in how UNC handles and prevents sexual violence on campus.
- “If we were to be a leader at the national level on prevention, then we should be discussing sexual violence on campuses,” Frank Baumgartner, faculty co-chairperson of the commission, said.
- Members also discussed the issue of whether police officers should carry lethal weapons in cases that may not require such weapons — such as medical situations. This conversation continued a similar discussion held during the Commission’s last meeting.
- A few Commission members were strongly against discussing the recommendation of taking officers’ lethal weapons away.
- “I’m also questioning, even whether we have an evidentiary basis to actually convene a public discussion,” Eric Muller, professor of law, said about making the issue a public debate.
- “Officers have lost their lives under the ruse of responding to an emergency incident,” David L. Perry, chief of UNC Police, said.
- Ultimately, the motion to approve the recommendation failed.
- The approved recommendations will be included in an end-of-year report given to Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz by the Commission in early May.
- The end-of-year report will include many other recommendations relating to topics of safety at UNC, including police behavior, sexual violence, anti-racist activism and the safety of marginalized communities.
Explore The Daily Tar Heel’s latest coverage on the events accompanying the removal of Silent Sam — which prompted the creation of the Commission — here.
Dig deeper into The Daily Tar Heel’s coverage of sexual assault on campus here.
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