PETITION TO PROTECT ALL COMMUNITY MEMBERS
The MassArt Board of Trustees is set to vote on the arming of campus police officers with within the academic year.Will you sign this petition calling on the Board to vote against arming campus officers?
MASSART BOARD OF TRUSTEES:
We are writing on behalf of students, faculty, staff and community members. On November 27th, 2018, the Board of Trustees will be making a decision on whether to arm campus police officers with firearms. The Board of Trustees should vote in the interests of the community, and vote against arming campus officers with these lethal weapons. Arming campus officers would increase the risk of gun violence, increase discrimination against marginalized groups on campus, and prioritize the needs of campus officers over the needs of the community. A vote in favor would be in flagrant disregard of community voices, especially students, and put people’s lives at risk.
1. Crime data statistics from 2015-2017 released by MassArt, reflecting an extremely low rate of incidents of escalated violence on campus, demonstrate that there is no basis for the arming of campus police officers.2. Arming campus police officers has historically and disproportionately affected black, brown, neurodivergent, trans, and other marginalized groups. MassArt officers are no exception.3. MassArt has not been timely nor accountable to the community with the release of their research on campus safety, and has discredited more accurate data acquired by the Student Government Association. This data reveals that the majority does not want armed officers, and the Board of Trustees must represent the interests of the community.
MassArt is a public institution that is frequented by people outside of the immediate MassArt community. This decision affects people beyond just faculty, staff and students. Therefore, this petition addresses everyone who interacts with, visits, and potentially will visit MassArt’s campus. This document brings to question the legitimacy of who MassArt claims to be protecting, and who they are protecting themselves from. MassArt cites projected crime data from the local neighborhood of Roxbury as a reason for arming. This shows that MassArt fears people in the community, and would target them. Perpetuating that we need to arm officers is violent, racist and upholds tenants of white supremacy and patriarchy. The arming of campus officers will result in discrimination of and harm to students, especially of marginalized identities.
WE THE UNDERSIGNED DEMAND THAT:
1) The board vote against the proposed measure to arm Massart campus police officers.2) MassArt hold consistent and frequent anti-racist trainings with reputable educators and community members for campus police officers, faculty, and staff, and make this information accessible to the MassArt community3) MassArt provide training for faculty and staff to develop protocols responding to emergency situations such as an active shooter with the MassArt community.