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Campus Safety Commission discusses Nikole Hannah-Jones, trauma response protocol

Screen Shot 2021-06-02 at 10.11.51 AM.png
Screenshot from the Campus Safety Commission meeting on Wednesday June 2, 2021.

The Campus Safety Commission held its last meeting for the 2020-2021 academic year on Wednesday.

During the meeting, members discussed the letter the commission wrote on May 21 concerning Nikole Hannah-Jones' non-tenure and also the racial and political trauma response protocol.

What’s new?

  • Minister Robert Campbell and commission co-chair Frank Baumgartner discussed the letter it sent concerning the Board of Trustees' non-action on Hannah-Jones' tenure.
    • Baumgartner said he worked very quickly to put out a statement denouncing that decision by the Board of Trustees, and was very upset by that decision.
      • “I'm quite confident that professor Hannah-Jones is fully deserving of a tenured appointment at this University,” he said. “And I hope that she'll get it as soon as possible."
    • Campbell said Hannah-Jones' non-tenure doesn't only affect what happened at UNC, it affects what happens in the community.
      • “A lot of people look at UNC, as a leadership to change the way democracy is going,” he said. “But if we allow this to continue to happen, we're still going down the rabbit hole. So it is time that we voice our concern to make change really happen."
  • A group of graduate students then introduced and shared the racial and political trauma response protocol to the Campus Safety Commission.
    • BT Parker, a student at the UNC School of Medicine and the Gillings School of Global Public Health, said the protocol was created by the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine in order to help students cope with trauma.
      •  "We can support each other by creating policies and guidelines that faculty and students can follow,” Parker said.
    • Parker said the plan outlines the need for an urgent response from the institution. The steps include acknowledging that an event has occurred, providing flexibility with assignments and attendance, reaching out to students who are most affected and then making sure the students are not retaliated against.
    • Parker said it is important to have standard operating procedures in place to help students cope with trauma.
      • "So we thought to ourselves, there has to be a better way," Parker said. "Even though I, at that time, was an affected student, it's inevitable that other students are going to be affected in the future too. So we, as a group, asked ourselves, how can we help change how that experience happens?"
  • Baumgartner said he will be drafting the annual report soon and he welcomes anyone in the commission to send him information they want to include.
    • The annual report will include the commission’s accomplishments during the academic year and is expected to come out by the commission's next meeting.

Who is on the commission?

  • The Campus Safety Commission is a 16-member commission made up of students, faculty, staff and community members.

What’s next?

  • The commission will meet again on July 7.