Dear President Percy and the PSU Board of Trustees,
We, Alumni from graduate programs at Portland State University, alongside our colleagues at PSU-AAUP, PSU Faculty Association (PSUFA), the Graduate Employees Union (GEU), ASPSU, the Faculty Senate, the Psychology Department and School of Social Work, the Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative, many more students, faculty, and staff, and most importantly, the family of Jason Washington, are writing to express our strong support for immediate and permanent disarmament of Campus Public Safety Officers.
The Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd, the Louisville Police murder of Breonna
Taylor, and too many more bring global urgency in a Portland State University issue. We
appreciate your recognition of those killings in Georgia and Minnesota, but we notice your omission of the death of Jason Washington here on our own campus.
We are doing what we can to help stop systemic brutality against the Black community and other Communities of Color and queer communities, and we call on you, too, to do what is in your power to help.
1. Disarm CPSO
2. Provide transparency regarding the decision not to furlough CPSO
3. Include AAUP, PSUFA, GEU, SEIU, ASPSU, and non-unionized student worker
representatives on any task force created to dismantle systemic structures of oppression
at Portland State University
And while we work to stop brutality against Black people and people of color, and to dismantle the racist systems that enable those tragedies, we also must be building a more equitable future. To do that, we join the CLAS chairs asking you to commit to investing in Black students, staff, faculty, and programs. This includes funding the Black Studies Department at PSU at higher levels; increasing tenure-track hires of Black faculty members across campus; and providing additional resources for Black students, staff, and faculty to address the disparate impacts that COVID-19 has had on Black communities.