SGA Leads Protest Against Public Safety Officers

by: Asia Cobbs

A protest pertaining to public safety harassment was held by Student Government Association on Oct. 11 in the Student Union Building.

Many students have complained about public safety officers frequently harassing them on Thursday nights assuming that they are intoxicated.

DeWayne Walker, SGA president, said that the protest was held because there were a lot of concerns about the way people were being treated, whether drunk or not.

The event, which ended at 11 p.m., offered students a chance to share their complaints by writing it on paper and putting it in a box that was being passed around.

“A lot of comments were a little outrageous but there were some good,” Walker said.

Although public safety wasn’t aware of the event, Capt. James Connor explained that SGA handled the entire protest pretty well.

“It was controlled, they got their message across and they did a very good job,” said Connor.

Connor’s rebuttal, however, was that officers don’t harass students. He said due to the housing contract, it gives the officers enough authority to suspect students who give off suspicious actions. He said if an officer sees a student that has glossy eyes, or an odd walk or any signs of anything, that they have a right to do their job.

Connor defines harassing a student as an officer picking on the same person just because he/she doesn’t like the student.

Atiima Thompson thought the protest was disorganized. She recounted that a girl complained about public safety coming into her room because her music was blasting.

“It was pointless,” said Thompson.

Stephanie Stevenson, psychology major, exclaimed that people only came to the protest to be nosy.

Stevenson thought that all people really came out for was the music. She mentioned that about two people addressed their complaints and then everyone went their separate ways.

Walker thought the protest helped because he hasn’t heard anything negative afterwards about public safety, and SGA and public safety were willing to have discussions.

“The protest had a big impact and pub heard us,” Walker said.

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