August 13, 2020
After seven years of organizing, protesting, collaborating, and coalition-building, the members of #DisarmPSU are thrilled by today’s announcement from President Percy that CPSO will patrol campus without firearms. We appreciate the active listening and the commitment to change demonstrated by President Percy, and members of the Board of Trustees, and acknowledge the labor of all involved over the past seven years.
We welcome the formation of the Reimagine Campus Safety Committee and are eager to be involved. We call on President Percy, and the steering members of this newly formed committee to engage in a transparent, democratic, and accessible process, led by Black and Indigenous students, faculty, and staff, and including unhoused visitors to campus.
The Reimagine Campus Safety Committee must engage in a process of collective ownership, in collaboration with the entire PSU community (not those hand picked by the administration), by inviting all students, staff, faculty and community members to be fully aware of and engaged in the process of reconceptualizing these structures for campus safety.
This particular political moment provided the last push the university administration needed to make this choice, but we would have never gotten to this point without the powerful, unwavering labor of the PSU Student Union (PSUSU), the Washington family, Black and brown students, faculty, and staff organizers, support from community groups like Don’t Shoot PDX, 15 Now Oregon, PDX Black Excellence, PAALF, and other committed community members. This campaign was a seven year uphill battle, and it came at a high cost. Even the death of Jason Washington wasn’t enough to convince the university to disarm. Today, we are reminded that we don’t win by appealing to the goodwill of those in power; we win through organizing and unwavering persistence. Today we won. The work is not done, but today we celebrate!