“This is supposed to be our safe space”
The anti-police rhetoric here is breathtaking. Students object, claiming that police make them less safe.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports:
University of Utah students reject adding a campus police office to the student Union building
For more than two hours, they lined up to speak, passing the microphone around the packed university classroom where every seat was filled and more squeezed in to sit cross-legged on the floor.
Most who came were students of color. A few identified as LGBTQ. Some said they are survivors of sexual assault.
And, when it was their turn, nearly every one suggested the same thing: The communities they come from — the most marginalized on campus and the most vulnerable — would be the most impacted if a police satellite office were put in the student Union building here at the University of Utah.
“This is supposed to be our safe space,” pleaded senior Puneet Singh. “I will not go to the Union any more if cops are there.”
The controversial proposal came from a U. student government leader, who suggested designating $30,000 to open the extra police office as the senior gift from the 2020 graduating class. Vice President Gabe Martinez argued that after student-athlete Lauren McCluskey was murdered on campus in October 2018, many have been critical of campus police and the project could help rebuild that relationship.
More than 70 others joined Singh in speaking out against it Thursday night before the student senate unanimously voted against moving forward with the plan.
“We don’t trust the police,” Singh said, waving a blue poster from the back of the room. His sign included McCluskey’s name next to the phrase “inept cops.”
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