Work remains, but arrest committee hasn’t met

The Ad Hoc Committee has not yet met this academic year, despite a number of remaining agenda items.

By Amy Myers

The Ad Hoc Committee of Campus and Student Life—the group charged with advising policy changes following the February arrest of Mauriece Dawson (A.B. ‘10) in the Regenstein Library—has not yet met this academic year, nor has it set a schedule for future meetings, despite a number of remaining agenda items, according to its co-chairs.

The committee has yet to review the Independent Review Committee’s (IRC) report, address the dean-on-call protocol, or advise University departments that deal with student relations, according to graduate student Toussaint Losier, co-chair of the committee and former graduate liaison.

The group convened in a summer conference call, as well as at several informal meetings during spring quarter and one formal one. “There hasn’t been a real strong push from the administration for the Ad Hoc Committee to reconvene,” Losier said.

Completed agenda items include reviews of new orientation materials and identification protocol.

The committee was convened in May to address policy issues that arose from the February arrest, including a new library code of conduct and a retraining program for library staff. It was intended to meet regularly this year and complete its work by May 2011, according to Associate Vice President for Campus Life and committee co-chair Karen Warren Coleman.

“When it was formed it was determined that it would meet weekly for the Spring quarter 2010 and regularly throughout the 2010-2011 academic year, as needed,” Coleman said in an e-mail. “Unless determined otherwise, the committee is to complete its work and disband by May 2011.”

No determination has been made as to how often the group will meet this academic year, Coleman said, despite an indication last month from Vice President for Campus Life Kim Goff-Crews that the Ad Hoc Committee’s work will continue.

“The Ad Hoc Committee will reconvene and continue its work to monitor the process moving forward and to advise on institutional changes related to the student arrest,” Goff-Crews wrote in an open letter to the campus community this October.

One item yet to be completed on the Ad Hoc committee’s agenda is to review and make recommendations on the accessibility of the IRC report, which was released in August. Much of the IRC’s report raised concerns about UCPD protocol.

Losier criticized the lack of transparency regarding what changes in policy have been made by the UCPD following the release of the IRC report. “In response to the IRC report, the head of the UCPD said they’ve taken [the report] into account,” he said. “There wasn’t any clear annunciation in terms of what changes in policy have arisen.”

Also among the uncompleted tasks of the Ad Hoc committee is the review of a new training regimen for library employees that has already been implemented, without the Ad Hoc Committee’s involvement, according to Coleman. She said neither the content nor the details of this new training program were discussed by the committee during spring quarter meetings.

Library staff interacting with the public now undergo “Respectful Interaction Training,” according to Library Director Judith Nadler. Library staff members were trained this summer, and all students who work in the library will receive training by the end of the quarter in a course that covers topics such as civility and the values of the University libraries.

Losier called the Ad Hoc Committee’s lack of involvement in the Reg employees’ training unfortunate.

The committee can only act to review the training that has already been put in place. “The proposed training content will be brought before the ad hoc committee during their first meetings of this quarter in order for the committee to be able to provide feedback and commentary,” Coleman wrote in an e-mail.

No date has been determined for the first committee meeting of this year. Losier said he hopes a meeting will occur by the end of the quarter, on such topics as the IRC report and the new library training curriculum.