We appreciate the effort to improve safety at Portland State. We want to make sure that safety extends to all members of our campus community. Therefore, we are compelled to talk about what is missing from the current discussion.
In the latest PSU safety plan, “A Holistic Plan for Campus Public Safety,” race is not effectively addressed. Jason Washington was a Black man. People of color experience disparities during police encounters, which is why planning for campus safety requires planning with communities of color. Communication materials and action plans that do not adequately address race, do not inspire confidence that the real risks people of color face with armed security have been fully considered.
We appreciate that the report commits to campus security engaging with people experiencing homelessness in the most appropriate way possible. In line with the statement that we issued last March in response to the Margolis Healy report, we want to reiterate that people who are homeless are no more likely to pose security threats than people who are housed. Homelessness creates a security threat to houseless individuals, not to our campus.
– The Co-Founders of the Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative
Submitted by Communications Specialist Stefanie Knowlton from Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative at PSU