Reimagining Campus Public Safety
FRAMEWORK FOR PSU INITIATIVE TO REIMAGINE CAMPUS SAFETY
Purpose: Portland State University’s President Percy invited PSU faculty, students, staff, and other interested stakeholders to meet this current moment on our campus through co-creating a comprehensive plan for the individual and collective well-being of Portland State students, staff, faculty, administrators, and visitors. Consistent with Portland State’s history and mission as an urban-serving institution of higher education, the RCSC will engage in a collaborative process to understand the array of safety needs of the campus community and to reimagine an approach to meeting those needs that reflects our commitment to racial justice and human dignity. The RCSC will be charged with developing new strategies and new methods that end the legacy of anti-Black outcomes in traditional approaches to community safety. We recognize racialization as a factor in decision-making around safety and security and underscore the importance of the experiences of racially and ethnically and/or multiply minoritized communities as it pertains to policing. Ultimately, the RCSC will call forth a new vision of a welcoming campus that promotes well-being and creates the conditions for genuine belonging for all members of the PSU community.
The work of the Reimagine Campus Safety Committee will complement the vital and ongoing role of the University Public Safety Oversight Committee (UPSOC). Currently, the UPSOC reviews Campus Public Safety Office (CPSO) policies and practices, provides general oversight for CPSO, and works to maintain a respectful system of public safety. A more comprehensive understanding of the UPSOC’s charge can be found within its charter. The RCSC will function in a time-limited manner to develop a fresh set of recommendations for presentation to President Stephen Percy and the Board of Trustees. The work of UPSOC, however, will continue even as the new plan is developed, implemented, evaluated, and, as needed, revised.
RCSC Steering Committee
Jose Coll is the current Dean of the School of Social Work at Portland State University and has held administrative and faculty positions at Texas State University, University of Southern California, and Saint Leo University. His research interests have been predominantly on worldview development and counseling veterans with a focus on veteran transition. He is the author and co-editor of numerous publications, including: The Counselors Primer for Counseling Veterans, Linus Publications; co-editor of The Handbook of Military Social Work, Wiley Press; Student Veterans in Higher Education: A Primer for Administrators, Faculty, and Advisors, Lyceum Books and most recent Civilian Lives of U.S. Veterans: Issues and Identities, Praeger Publishing. He is a graduate of the American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows Program, University of California, Berkeley, Executive Leadership Academy (ELA), Harvard’s Institute for Management Development Program (MDP), Harvard’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education (MLE).
Vicki Reitenauer joined the faculty of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department in 2000, following a decade working in community-based organizations. She specializes in developing and facilitating community-engaged learning experiences, employing critical and care-based pedagogies for integrative learning, and fostering networks of mutuality in higher education. She is grateful for the opportunity to learn with and from the visionary members of the RCSC to collectively co-imagine and co-create a PSU that is a place of welcome, belonging, and well-being for all. To schedule time to share your perspectives on reimagining campus safety, email Vicki at email@example.com.
Greetings & Talofa! My name is Motutama Sipelii, and I'm a pre-med Health Science major entering my senior year at PSU. I am a first-generation college student from the small village of Utulei in American Samoa located in the heart of the South Pacific. I currently serve as the Student Body President for the Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU) and a Steering team lead for the Reimagine Campus Safety Committee. I've served numerous student leadership roles on campus, and doing so has given me a rich perspective and appreciation for student advocacy and higher education! If you would like to connect please reach out to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ed Washington is a civil rights leader and member of the Portland NAACP. In 1991, Ed was appointed, then later elected the first African American councilor for the Metro Council, the regional government of the Portland metropolitan area. He served in this capacity from 1991-2001. Ed continues to serve as the Community Liaison for Diversity Initiatives & Inclusion for Portland State University, and as an adjunct professor for Portland Community College. In 1959, Ed married Jean Nova, a music teacher at Alameda Elementary School who was the first black chairwoman of Portland Music Educators. Ed and Jean remained together until she passed away in 1998.
RCSC Committee Members
Andres Guzman (he/him) is currently serving as the Coordinator for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the College of Education (COE) at Portland State University. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating all activities on equity, diversity, and inclusion involving faculty, students, and staff. Additionally, Andres partners with COE stakeholders, particularly those from diverse and historically marginalized backgrounds, to actively identify and advocate for the removal of institutional barriers that impact academic and professional success. Andres was drawn to the work of the Reimagine Campus Safety Committee because he is committed to dreaming up new models for the campus safety that are based on more relational approaches that always already resist carcerality and its attendant logics.
Charlie Evans - Officer Evans usually goes by "Charlie," and is one of the newest members of the CPSO. Charlie speaks Mandarin Chinese and Spanish, and is a graduate of Columbia University. Charlie has been a soldier, a grant writer, a translator, a college administrator, call center representative, and a construction safety manager before finally becoming a police officer. Charlie comes to PSU from the Portland Police Bureau and couldn't be happier to be serving the PSU community. Charlie's goals are to be, "your police officer;" and to provide aid, assistance, and police service in a fair and tempered manner for everyone.
Debra Mayo Kelley - Debra is the Director of Academic Employee & Labor Relations. Prior to taking the position at PSU, Debra was a Union Representative for AFT Oregon representing K-12 and Higher Ed employees. Through-out her career in Labor Relations, Debra has been on both Management and Union teams with a focus on labor management and social justice. She wanted to be part of something that could change the trajectory of so many people’s lives and is convinced we have an enormous opportunity, and obligation, to ensure and sustain positive change.
Dr. Kimberly Barsamian Kahn is an Associate Professor of Social Psychology and leads the Gender, Race, and Sexual Prejudice (GRASP) Lab at Portland State University. She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Kahn’s research addresses contemporary forms of subtle bias and prejudice, with an emphasis on policing and police-community interactions. Specifically, she examines how biases such as implicit bias, stereotype threat, phenotypic racial stereotypicality bias, and masculinity threat impact police behavior and use of force.
Marcy Hunt (she/her/hers pronouns) is the Director of Counseling Services at the Center for Student Health and Counseling (SHAC). She is a licensed psychologist with more than 20 years of college/university mental health experience. She comes to the Reimagine Committee with a passion for developing communities that foster belonging and wellbeing through care and connection. Marcy also brings clinical expertise in crisis intervention and looks forward to working collaboratively with campus and community partners to create a just and humane campus crisis response plan.
Michaela Loggins is a current student at PSU with plans to double major in social work and Black studies. She is reigning as Miss Black Oregon International Ambassador with the MBIA program. Currently, she works in a Behavioral Rehabilitation facility with adolescent children in the foster care system. Michaela wants to advocate for her community and to create more unity within the PSU population with hopes of inclusion and acceptance among the people and campus security. Her goal is for every student to feel welcomed and comfortable at Portland State University while trying to obtain higher education regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation.
Molly Gunderson serves as the Interim Assistant Dean, PSU Library. I wanted to serve on the RCPS committee because over the years, library staff have worked closely with campus safety to resolve security issues in the building. Before the pandemic, when we were open to all, it was challenging to find a balance between being a welcoming place and being a safe place for people to research and study. I look forward to working with colleagues on the committee to shape the future of CSPO.
Roberto Valentin currently serves as the Assistant Director for Residential Education in the University Housing & Residence Life (UHRL) department. In my role I work with professional staff (Residence Directors) and student leaders (Resident Assistants) across our residential campus to provide social programming, make intentional 1:1 connections with each resident, and provide resources and referrals that support academic excellence. I felt called to serve on the RCSC due to the nature of the work we do in UHRL in terms of ensuring safety and security in our residence halls and the relationship that we have with CPSO because of this priority. My goal is to advocate for an innovative, student-centered, racially-conscious, and equity-focused approach to campus safety on the Portland State University campus.
Scott Merriman - Student, The School of Business
Shawn Canny (he/him) is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning candidate, concentrating on the intersections of land use, transportation, and public space with a focus on effective participatory methods that center racial justice beyond equity. He comes to the RCSC with a background in community development, and he served in summer of 2020—through a partnership with the Institute of Metropolitan Studies at Portland State—as a Community Recovery Fellow with the Coalition of Communities of Color. As an alumnus of Portland State University and a future public servant, he is dedicated to the success of the RCSC and its purpose.
Stéphanie Wahab is a Professor at Portland State University’s School of Social Work. She situates her work within critical and feminist studies of social inequality and teaches a range of courses at Portland State University and at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She’s been actively engaged in anti-violence movements for over two decades and is drawn to this committee as an extension of her feminist ethic of care.
Vvdaul Holloway is the Coordinator of Black Student Services which means that I am tasked with connecting any Black student in the PSU Community to appropriate services needed for survival, persistence, and retention towards graduation. Coming to the RCSC was a strategic choice to ensure that Black humanity was centered and affirmed in the discussion of safety in the PSU context. Being Black in a predominately white space such as Portland means historic barriers exist which must be addressed -- that is my desire for the major outcomes of our work.
Yves Labissiere - Associate Professor, School of Public Health
Zachary Mettler is in his final year of my Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning, and am now a member in both the UPSOC and RCSC. This will be the culmination of 6 years of education between a Bachelor’s in Architecture and this Master’s program, mixed with working for University Housing and Residence Life for 3 years and being a Campus Rec Club President for 3 years as well. I have a rich understanding and love for this campus and those who are or have been a part of it. All forms of social justice, especially racial and environmental, have been key focal points in my academic and personal life, and this committee is such a meaningful next step to being part of the process and giving back to the campus that has helped me become the person I am today.