Case Western Reserve University has apologized to students for agreeing to house police working the Republican National Convention without considering the decision's impact on students.
Cleveland police officers block an intersection during a demonstration near the site of the Republican National Convention on July 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Protestors are staging demonstrations ahead of the start of the Republican National Convention which starts on Monday July 18. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The university agreed to accommodate 1,700 police officers and 200 members of the Ohio National Guard who will provide security for the convention, according to Cleveland.com.
Students began to circulate a petition with demands to ensure “student safety” during the officers’ stay, including requiring that they store their weapons off-campus.
One commenter on the petition said the measures would make the campus “a safe space for all bodies.”
“As an alum of CWRU, I relied on feeling safe in my identity on campus. I am scared and concerned for students of color, queer* and trans* students and all university community members at the mercy of an arbitrarily expanded police force without clear oversight or attachment to the community,” the commenter added.
University President Barbara Snyder emailed students saying that school officials agreed to house the officers at the city’s request, but in doing so the university “failed to give adequate consideration to the impact the decision would have on members of our community — in particular students staying in residence halls near the buildings housing the officers," Cleveland.com reported.
Snyder apologized for another email she had sent urging students not to stereotype all police officers.
"The deadly shootings last week in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas have dramatically intensified our national conversation involving race, law enforcement and the best paths to justice, fairness and safety for all," she wrote, adding, "Nevertheless, given the current national context, I regret that I described such behavior as 'profiling,' and that I was not more careful with my language.”
According to Heat Street, “Classes will now be held off-campus next week, on-campus summer camps have been rescheduled, and students who live on campus or are staying on campus for the summer will receive help finding alternate accommodations.”
The university will also provide counseling for students who say they are traumatized by the police presence on campus.
Cleveland.com notes that several of the city’s other universities are reducing operations in light of the additional number of people in the city.
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