Campus safety is a challenge for any university. It’s even a bigger challenge for our growing urban campus, and creating a safe environment for you to live, work and learn is our top priority.
In 2012, I appointed students, faculty, staff and administrators to a presidential task force to study campus safety, engage with our campus community and develop appropriate recommendations. The task force held two open forums, surveyed students, met with student and faculty leaders and interviewed 18 departments and community partners.
The group completed a 31-page report a year ago on how to improve safety, and those recommendations were widely disseminated with another round of campus discussions in the winter and spring.
This has been a long, deliberative process because campus security impacts everyone. Now it is time to move forward with an action plan.
I think we can all agree that making PSU a safer environment requires a serious discussion about serious challenges. That’s why we held Tuesday’s town hall meeting, and why we are scheduling more opportunities for comments and questions in the coming weeks.
You can also submit additional questions and comments online. On the pdx.edu home page, you’ll find a feature story on the campus safety forum. If you click into that, you will see a link that enables you to comment or submit questions. That page also will have Frequently Asked Questions that are being compiled from previous questions about the safety report and recommendations. We will publish additional questions and answers as they come up.
I want to reiterate that any decision on a sworn police force at PSU will be made by the PSU Board of Trustees. As of July 1, the board is the independent governing board for Portland State University. The Board has formed a committee to review the safety recommendations. Tuesday’s forum was videotaped in its entirety and will be viewed by Board members before they make a decision.
The Board's campus safety committee meets Monday, October 27, from 3 to 6 pm, in the Willamette Room at University Place Hotel, which will include a public comment period. All board meetings are posted in advance and open to the public. You can go to http://www.pdx.edu/board/ to view meeting times and agendas.
Open Office Hours with President Wiewel: