As part of its efforts to reduce the presence of armed police officers in public and residential spaces on campus, Clark will develop a civilian unit to respond to service calls that do not require an armed, uniformed officer. Dispatching would remain centralized for both the University Police (UP) department and the civilian unit. The civilian unit will be staffed by professionals and student workers. Space considerations will continue to be assessed as the unit is developed. The expected timeline is six months for hiring and training.
This action item is one of 10 recommendations presented to President David Fithian in June 2021 by the Task Force for Campus Safety and Security. In response to concerns voiced by the Black Student Union and other members of our community, the task force reviewed Clark’s approach to campus safety and security.
Updates as of Sep. 20, 2021
- The University has launched the Campus Ambassador program, which will operate independently from University Police and will report to Paul Wykes, the University’s chief budget officer, who oversees auxiliary services. Initially, the Campus Ambassadors will comprise a team of graduate students; they eventually will be supplemented by full-time staff.
The Ambassadors will be identified by their red Clark T-shirts or jackets (depending on the weather) and Campus Ambassadors name tags. They will carry cellphones that also function as walkie-talkies for communications purposes, and, later this year, they will be equipped with a golf cart to move around the campus. The Campus Ambassadors will have numerous responsibilities, including:
- Responding to nonemergency service calls.
- Helping campus visitors with way-finding, parking, etc.
- Providing support and assistance to the Residential Life and Housing and Dean of Students offices on issues related to direct communications with students.
- Assisting as needed at major campus events.
- Offering community assistance, including on-foot safety escorts, supplying directions, and providing information on various procedures and policies (for example, how to complete a bias incident report).
- Helping monitor campus safety and reporting hazards to Facilities Management.