Sign and Join Us to Disarm OSU

President Ed Ray, Incoming President F. King Alexander, Paul Odenthal, Edgar Rodriguez, Ed Feser, The Board of Trustees, and Oregon State University Admin

Disarm_osu_cover

Summary:

We are a multi-racial, multi-gender coalition of students, staff, and faculty at Oregon State University who are organizing to resist the formation and expansion of campus policing that OSU plans to implement beginning July 1st. Our central demand is that the OSU administration immediately disarm and defund its police force, re-direct funding to services that meet the needs of this community, and that only the bare minimum guard force for the TRIGA nuclear reactor be maintained.

While students, faculty, and staff around the country are taking action to dismantle their campus police departments amidst a national movement to end police brutality towards Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples, OSU is rushing behind closed doors to spend 4.8 million dollars on an armed force. Through signing and sharing this petition you will not only signal to the OSU community that you are committed to racial justice, but you can also join our email list to be invited to our weekly Disarm OSU meetings to get involved in our community organizing. Our base is still growing, and we especially encourage Black, Brown, Indigenous, and People of Color to reach out to us directly at disarmosu@gmail.com with any input, inquiries, comments, and/or concerns regarding this statement, or this movement as a whole.


We demand:

  • Immediate defunding of OSU’s new police force and the halting of police officers and sergeant hirings at OSU.

  • Community involvement and co-governance in the formation of a bare minimum force required by federal law for our on campus research reactor that will not exceed the required one (1) armed guard and five (5) rapid response personnel. These individuals must only respond to the reactor--not all of campus.

  • Monthly public forums for OSU students, staff, and community members to provide feedback for guard force accountability.

  • Black, Indigenous, and Peoples of Color (BIPOC) be at the forefront of all decision making regarding any required policing at OSU and reinvestment of funds divested from the police.

  • Transparent reallocation of the $4.8 million away from policing and towards expansion of services which contribute to community health and safety, such as Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Services and Pharmacy, UHDS Emergency Housing Program, Survivor Advocacy Resource Center, HSRC Food Pantry, amidst others.

  • Complete open and public release of records pertaining to all newly hired guards and substantial public input regarding any new hires.


Full Statement:

The Oregon State University Board of Trustees has approved the formation of a new armed on-campus police force, and the OSU community is outraged. The Oregon State Police ended their contract with the university earlier this year following the harassment and assault of a queer person of color in our community. The student was arrested for riding their bike on campus. Since then, the university has quietly outlined plans to hire twenty new armed officers to patrol its campus, under the oversight of Edgar Rodriguez. This advancement is proposed to be made by July 1st, which leaves little time for the proper screening and training of these officers. The university is attempting to "solve" the issue of police brutality, use of unnecessary/excessive force, and over-policing in general by implementing more policing with less oversight.

Many communities across the country are demanding the defunding of the police in response to the recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and so many others. This demand is rooted in the failure of decades of police reform to prevent the killing and violent treatment of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other criminalized people. We have seen the failures of police reform in the 2018 killing of Jason Washington, an unarmed African-American student by PSU’s armed campus police force and in the Oregon State Police’s racial profiling and use of force against OSU students. President Ed Ray and the OSU administration claim to condemn systemic racism and affirm that Black Lives Matter. However, to actually defend Black lives, President Ray, incoming President F. King Alexander, and the OSU administration must defund the campus police force. Actions speak louder than words. This is the minimum first step the OSU administration must take to abolish institutionalized racism from our campus. It would be dangerously ignorant and irresponsible to assume that Corvallis and OSU are exempt from the potential of police brutality and abuse of power, especially after what we’ve seen occur at a nearby university and in Corvallis itself. Therefore, we demand that OSU cease the formation of a new police force on campus.

 

We recognize that by federal law mandated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that one (1) armed guard must be able to respond to the TRIGA nuclear reactor at all times (for context, see federal law NRC 10 CFR part 73). We do not find this singular guard requirement to be sufficient grounds for justifying the formation of an entire fully weaponized police force on a university campus. We demand this requirement be fulfilled by a contracted guard service or one of the police forces which already exists (e.g. City of Corvallis, Benton County Sheriff’s Office) and that those who are armed only stay posted at the facility itself. All decisions related to the hiring, firing, and formation of this minimum compliant guard force must go through a public co-governance model. This would mean that OSU must create a governing structure for the armed guards where community members have meaningful sway and input on the decisions that will affect their lives. Guards with guns work for us--and we must have community co-governance control.

OSU has kept its decision to form a new police force largely secretive, to the direct detriment of the entire community. The initial public announcement of the new force was slipped under a notification regarding a tuition freeze for current students, allowing it to fall under the radar. The only opportunity for community input regarding the decision were a few largely unpublicized information sessions held during Finals week of winter term, failing to respect and accommodate the time of students and employees. Attendees of these sessions testified they were offered little to no opportunities for community input and engagement. Though attendees were explicitly told that the selection process for command officers would be open to the public, OSU has already held three private interviews for the sergeant position, ignoring community requests for invitations and involvement.

We are disappointed and insulted by the university’s lack of transparency. In the future, we demand OSU hold well-publicized input sessions that allow constituents to meaningfully influence and direct decisions that affect the entire community. We demand that these sessions be scheduled at times that are accessible to students and employees, precede any Board of Trustees decisions, and that the community be notified of their occurrences well in advance. Furthermore, the Board of Trustees do not adequately represent the multi-ethnic, multi-gender, working-class backgrounds of the majority of OSU’s community, and therefore should not be making decisions that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We demand that BIPOC be at the forefront of all decision making regarding any policing at OSU and reinvestment of funds divested from the police to services for students in this community. Any new hired guards must be fully vetted by the public--all records related to their prior uses of force, their qualifications, and their criminal background be released to the OSU community through an all campus email and posted online.

OSU has chosen to fund the formation of a police force at a time of deep economic strife for the university. Citing the COVID-19 crisis, OSU claims the loss of $38 million in revenue, and $128 million in budget cuts. It is perplexing that at this time, the university is willing to invest an estimated $4.8 million into a new police force over the next 2 years. Now that the university no longer has to invest roughly $2 million a year into a contract with the Oregon State Police, we the people would like to see this money divested into services that will more comprehensively serve the needs of our community. We demand that of the $4.8 million intended to go towards the police force in the next two years, OSU alternatively invest this money into on-campus services identified by BIPOC as necessary, such as diversifying and expanding Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Services, the UHDS Emergency Housing Program, Survivor Advocacy Resource Center, HSRC Food Pantry, amidst others.

With the current and historical cases of police abuse of power on OSU’s campus and nationally, with severe budget cuts in the institution, as well as in a time of crisis and change, it is not the time for an armed police force on OSU campus. It is time that OSU explores other options for preventing crime on its campus. The university must create meaningful avenues in which community members can express their needs and concerns. It must require its leadership to justly represent people of color. It must fund services that alleviate the socio-economic struggles that propel individuals towards illegal activity in the first place.

OSU has the opportunity as an institution to take action and be an example that other universities can follow--to truly listen to local, state, and national voices and adjust its practices accordingly. Now is the time. The people are speaking. The university must be held accountable to preventing threats to the safety and well being of queer and non-queer Black, Brown, and Indigenous members of our community. Sign your name today to signify your commitment to holding OSU accountable to protecting everyone on and around campus.



Sponsored by
Disarm_osu
Corvallis, OR

To: President Ed Ray, Incoming President F. King Alexander, Paul Odenthal, Edgar Rodriguez, Ed Feser, The Board of Trustees, and Oregon State University Admin
From: [Your Name]

As you know, many communities across the country are demanding the defunding of the police in response to the recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and so many others. This demand is rooted in the failure of decades of police reform to prevent the killing and violent treatment of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other criminalized people. We have seen the failures of police reform in the 2018 killing of Jason Washington, an unarmed African-American student by PSU’s armed campus police force and in the Oregon State Police’s racial profiling and use of force against OSU students. You claim to condemn systemic racism and affirm that Black Lives Matter. However, to actually defend Black lives, you must defund the campus police force. Actions speak louder than words. This is the minimum first step the you must take to abolish institutionalized racism from our campus. It would be dangerously ignorant and irresponsible to assume that Corvallis and OSU are exempt from the potential of police brutality and abuse of power, especially after what we’ve seen occur at a nearby university and in Corvallis itself. Therefore, we demand that you cease the formation of a new police force on campus.


We recognize that by federal law mandated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that one (1) armed guard must be able to respond to the TRIGA nuclear reactor at all times (for context, see federal law NRC 10 CFR part 73). We do not find this singular guard requirement to be sufficient grounds for justifying the formation of an entire fully weaponized police force on a university campus. We demand this requirement be fulfilled by a contracted guard service or one of the police forces which already exists (e.g. City of Corvallis, Benton County Sheriff’s Office) and that those who are armed only stay posted at the facility itself. All decisions related to the hiring, firing, and formation of this minimum compliant guard force must go through a public co-governance model. This would mean that you must create a governing structure for the armed guards where community members have meaningful sway and input on the decisions that will affect their lives. Guards with guns work for us--and we must have community co-governance control.

You have kept your decision to form a new police force largely secretive, to the direct detriment of the entire community. You slipped initial public announcement of the new force under a notification regarding a tuition freeze for current students, allowing it to fall under the radar. The only opportunity for community input regarding the decision were a few largely unpublicized information sessions held during Finals week of winter term, failing to respect and accommodate the time of students and employees. Attendees of these sessions testified they were offered little to no opportunities for community input and engagement. Though attendees were explicitly told that the selection process for command officers would be open to the public, you have already held three private interviews for the sergeant position, ignoring community requests for invitations and involvement.

We are disappointed and insulted by your lack of transparency. In the future, we demand you hold well-publicized input sessions that allow constituents to meaningfully influence and direct decisions that affect the entire community. We demand that these sessions be scheduled at times that are accessible to students and employees, precede any Board of Trustees decisions, and that the community be notified of their occurrences well in advance. Furthermore, the Board of Trustees do not adequately represent the multi-ethnic, multi-gender, working-class backgrounds of the majority of OSU’s community, and therefore should not be making decisions that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We demand that BIPOC be at the forefront of all decision making regarding any policing at OSU and reinvestment of funds divested from the police to services for students in this community. Any new hired guards must be fully vetted by the public--all records related to their prior uses of force, their qualifications, and their criminal background be released to the OSU community through an all campus email and posted online.

You have chosen to fund the formation of a police force at a time of deep economic strife for the university. Citing the COVID-19 crisis, you claim the loss of $38 million in revenue, and $128 million in budget cuts. It is perplexing that at this time, you are willing to invest an estimated $4.8 million into a new police force over the next 2 years. Now that you no longer have to invest roughly $2 million a year into a contract with the Oregon State Police, we the people would like to see this money divested into services that will more comprehensively serve the needs of our community. We demand that of the $4.8 million intended to go towards the police force in the next two years, you alternatively invest this money into on-campus services identified by BIPOC as necessary, such as diversifying and expanding Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Services, the UHDS Emergency Housing Program, Survivor Advocacy Resource Center, HSRC Food Pantry, amidst others.

With the current and historical cases of police abuse of power on OSU’s campus and nationally, with severe budget cuts in the institution, as well as in a time of crisis and change, it is not the time for an armed police force on OSU campus. It is time that you explore other options for preventing crime on its campus. You must create meaningful avenues in which community members can express their needs and concerns. You must require its leadership to justly represent people of color. You must fund services that alleviate the socio-economic struggles that propel individuals towards illegal activity in the first place.

You have the opportunity as an institution to take action and be an example that other universities can follow--to truly listen to local, state, and national voices and adjust its practices accordingly. Now is the time. The people are speaking. You will be held accountable to preventing threats to the safety and well being of queer and non-queer Black, Brown, and Indigenous members of our community.