By Chelsea Ware
June will bring many things: the end to an arduous spring quarter, warm weather, but most importantly it is when the PSU Board of Trustees will review and vote on an implementation plan for armed security on campus. In December of 2014, the PSU Board of Trustees voted 11 to 2 in favor of having an armed police force on campus and for the past 5 months they have been constructing the details of how the officers will operate.
Under the plan, PSU will hire 12 police officers to join campus security. The decision was also a result of Portland State University President Wim Weiwel’s Task Force on campus safety; a group composed of members of the PSU community who spent six months studying safety on campus. The President’s Task Force suggested that PSU should have armed officers due to PSU’s proximity to downtown, its steady growth of students, and lack of safety resources.
The deaths that have taken place in Baltimore, New York, and Ferguson have left many students feeling uneasy about PSU’s proposed security plan. However, board members have expressed their hope that PSU can work to cultivate a security department that reflects the Portland State values of diversity and accountability.
Do you think that having armed officers on campus will add to students’ safety? As someone who lives on campus, I know that I will be following the upcoming changes closely and I encourage you to also. Whether you are pro or against the upcoming changes, it is important that we all stay engaged during this process.