Students can’t provide backup in chief search

The administration’s decision to create the position of Chief/Director of Campus Security for the Office of Campus Police is certainly a laudable corrective measure, required for transformation to a community-friendly policing model. Students, faculty and staff only stand to benefit from this decision.

A chief in the Office of Campus Police will remedy the flawed structural hierarchy of the office, as identified by the ad hoc committee’s report on Campus Police.

Unfortunately, the selection process has been restrictive to students, the very students who took the initiative to direct the administration’s attention to the problems of last fall.

The College has a proud reputation of shared governance and inclusion of the student constituency in various aspects of previous administrative decisions. Hosting open forums for each of the candidates, and publicizing the forums through a campus-wide e-mail were gestures in this same vein of administrative policy.

They were empty gestures.

It is unreasonable to expect students, who have various summer obligations including jobs and internships, to be able to attend an on-campus forum during summer vacation. Many students live far from campus, with a small portion living out-of-state. Others cannot drive here during summer.

Consequentially, the open forums were not well-attended by students.

Members of the administration would argue that students have had a voice in the hiring process since the formation of the ad hoc committee on Campus Police, as well as the search committee.

Only one student was on the committee – Christine Cullen, executive president of Student Government Administration.

The need for a chief had to be addressed promptly.

But it is difficult to see how much of an impact a two-week delay on the search proceedings would have impacted the process. If anything, it would have garnered more valuable feedback and input from students. Relationships between the various campus constituencies and the Office of Campus Police will improve with a chief in place.

It is disappointing that students were not granted more inclusion in the process.