This is the form to formally sign on to the Middlebury Cops off Campus Letter. The full letter can be found here: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jNQrBbM9TK6h296M_Iu0bc_frYgJ3y3Idt9dv-XptLU/edit?usp=sharing
We expect that President Patton and the Senior Leadership Group provide an initial response to each demand by Friday July 10, 2020 on which day we will present signatures, endorsements, and testimonies to support this letter. We then invite the Senior Leadership Group and other administration to join a Zoom call with us between July 10th and July 15, 2020 to further the needed conversations between administration and students to address our demands. This conversation should be separate from, but parallel to, a very necessary and larger community town hall to discuss anti-racism on campus. Each point on this platform is vital, and we want to stress that the safety and needs of our Black community members are not up for debate.
-End all collaboration with local and state police around security for campus events, and ensure that all private security officers hired for campus events are completely unarmed and wearing personal identifiers that can be used for misconduct complaints. Demand that the private security agency conduct anti-bias training for its employees in order for Middlebury to continue to use their services or host them at the College before the events they guard.
-Use discretionary presidential, deans’, and activities budgets to fund student-organized workshops on anti-racism, cop-watching, legal observation, knowing one’s rights, de-escalation, ICE intervention, police and prison abolition, sexual violence prevention, substance-use harm reduction, and medic skills.
-Commit to making PubSafe officers' actions transparent by providing public access to all budget information and data on PubSafe interactions and responses, including complaints against individual officers and aggregated racial/gender data for students facing disciplinary procedures.
-Proactively implement and support changes from our peer groups advocating for Racial Justice at Middlebury, including Concerned Students of Middlebury and the AAUP Anti Racist Working Group.
During the Next Two Semesters:
-End all collaboration with private security around campus events, and rely instead on teams of compensated crowd managers trained in anti-oppressive de-escalation and harm reduction.
-Include student voices --especially Black student voices-- in a comprehensive review and edit process Public Safety policies, including “Use of Force” policies and the purpose/role of Public Safety and private security on campus.
-Replace the current dual restorative-punitive campus justice model with an entirely restorative approach, prioritizing the feedback of BIPOC community members and those of other marginalized backgrounds. Include and prioritize a community-oriented system for holding public safety officers accountable for misconduct complaints.
-Build a culture of trust, rather than surveillance, around COVID enforcement practices. Choose non-security officers to do contact tracing and testing work, and make enforcement around COVID protocols a non-disciplinary process.
-Cease the College contract with Minuteman Security Technologies, a corporation that contributes to the prison industrial complex by supplying correctional facilities with surveillance technology and profiting from its services. Instead choose to identify the reasons the College feels surveillance technology is necessary and work to dismantle the root of those issues.
-Decrease Middlebury Public Safety budget and redirect those funds towards the previously mentioned student workshops, alternative emergency response systems, and student organizations that support BIPOC community members.
Over the Next Two Years:
-Support the Town of Middlebury with fully investing in, building, and expanding an on off-campus, community-based, police-free emergency crisis services, including mental and sexual health responders, drug and alcohol harm reduction, de-escalation, and crisis response/conflict resolution.
-Completely dismantle Public Safety as we know it and rebuild a community response team of diverse, compensated students, faculty, staff, and community members accountable to the Community Council and focused on providing medical first-aid, mental and sexual health information, drug and alcohol harm reduction, de-escalation, and conflict resolution. Commit to no longer hiring former police, private security, or law enforcement officers to campus positions.
-Retrain current Public Safety officers to non-punitive staff positions that use their skills (especially surrounding access to buildings) but do not require interaction with students around conflict resolution or harm reduction. Re-training must include workshops in anti-racism, unconscious bias, police abolition, and restorative justice.
-Commit to relying on crisis response teams on- and off-campus for law enforcement support instead of contacting the Middlebury or Vermont State Police.
-Work collaboratively with the student body to rebuild a community with a foundation of mutual respect in order to ensure the success of aforementioned plans.
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