Last fall, after years of listening sessions, student protests, campus safety plans, and the summer into fall 2020 mass protests against police violence against and murder of Black people, CPSO Chief Willie Halliburton and PSU President Stephen Percy announced that PSU Safety Officers would move to patrolling without firearms. Then, in an October message to campus, President Percy announced the delay of patrols without firearms. We have yet to see patrols without firearms of the sworn officers amongst PSU’s CPSO ranks.
Moreover, after the 2018 killing of Jason Washington by an armed PSU Public Safety Officer, PSU promised the Washington family the establishment of both a memorial and scholarship fund in his name. Almost three years later, there is no memorial and there is no scholarship. Why?
While President Percy and his administration have sworn PSU is working to become an anti-racist institution that values social justice, the inaction on the part of CPSO and Administration shows contrary evidence. This inaction and PSU not living up to its values has also been called out by PSU Vanguard writer and student Nick Gatlin.
PSU-AAUP joins #DisarmPSU in asking the following questions:
- Who is PSU’s point person for the memorial? What is the timeline on this happening?
- Who is PSU’s point person for the scholarship? What will be the amount? What is the timeline on this happening?
- What is the timeline of the settlement with the Washington family?
- What is the hold up on actually disarming? Why are we still seeing armed officers on campus?
We eagerly anticipate action by the CPSO and PSU Administration that show the University’s commitments to racial and social justice; we just don’t know if and when that will be.