Members of the Campus Safety Commission met Wednesday to discuss the recent riots at the U.S. Capitol, revisions to the commission constitution and updates on various subcommittees.
The Campus Safety Commission first convened in April 2019 under Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz as a way to allow broader communication between University police and the Chapel Hill community. Members of the commission include UNC students, faculty, staff and other community members.
- UNC Police Chief David Perry said UNC Police plans to increase staff presence on campus leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration from Jan. 16 to 20. These measures are a response to federal communication about further potential violence in Raleigh and other state capitals.
- “I expect to hear any intelligence that’s available," Perry said. "At this time, we have no direct information related to our campus. Any concern is of significant concern at this moment. We will do our very best to maintain the safety and integrity of our campus community.”
- Josh Romero, a political science and chemistry major, gave a status report on the commission’s constitution, and members provided feedback about including specific subcommittees within the constitution.
- Pending revisions, the constitution will be sent to the chancellor for review and approval.
- The commission reviewed the activities of various subcommittees since their last meeting, including the COVID-19 Planning Committee and the Police and Policy Engagement Committee.
- Junior De’Ivyion Drew said the Police and Policy Engagement Committee met twice with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro chapter of the NAACP to discuss its transformative justice plan.
- Drew said the NAACP presented questions and inquiries about UNC Police's daily activities and how they comply with the transformative justice plan.
- Dean of Students Desirée Rieckenberg said the University has a plan to hold remote classes until early February and has a new commitment to consistent COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff regularly on campus.
- The commission discussed the recent uncovering of a drug ring operating in UNC fraternities and how it relates to campus health and safety — particularly with regard to sexual assault prevention. Some members expressed disappointment that this discovery was long overdue.
- Commission member OJ McGhee said fraternity and sorority houses are private properties, rather than campus spaces, making it difficult for University law enforcement to regulate their activities and monitor COVID-19 exposure.
- In response to McGhee’s concerns about regulating fraternities and sororities, Perry said UNC Police is currently working on ways to expand its jurisdiction in order to assist the University with drug trafficking situations.
- “I’m working with Chief (Chris) Blue, the Town of Chapel Hill, administrator Maurice Jones and the mayor to aggressively work on an agreement that will expand our jurisdiction to where we do have maybe a little more control and power to help our students through some situations,” Perry said.
- The Campus Safety Commission will hold its next virtual meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 9 a.m.
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