CSU Policing Taskforce Announced & How SQE Campaign, CFA’s Anti-Black Racism Demands Led to Change
The CSU will soon examine alternatives to policing on its campuses to protect students, staff, and faculty.
CSU administrators announced Tuesday that – because of advocacy from students and CFA faculty members – a workgroup will convene to “effectively explore options to alleviate concerns of our campus communities regarding […] current emergency response programs.”
The workgroup will look at alternatives to policing on campuses through an anti-racist and social justice systemwide approach. Additionally, the workgroup will look at alternatives to dispute resolution options for employee conflicts rather than calling police.
According to the memo, the workgroup will include faculty, students, staff, campus health and safety personnel, bargaining unit representatives, and others deemed necessary to explore changes to policing on campus.
This announcement would not have been possible without years of advocacy from student advocacy groups and CFA.
Students for Quality Education (SQE) began their campaign as a reformist one in 2018 to advocate for disarming CSU campus police, as increased reports surfaced of students of color facing attacks and harassment from the very people sworn to protect them. In the absence of changes to student and faculty campus safety issues, the student-led advocacy group brought the campaign back in 2020 as abolitionist, demanding police completely off campus.
SQE student advocates have called on the CSU to reinvest in mental health counselors, mental health crisis intervention teams, Black resource centers, and mandatory de-escalation and unconscious bias training for all campus police and security.
CFA members joined SQE to advocate for the No Harm, Disarm! campaign. Then, after the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, CFA released its anti-Black racism demands, that center on redress for systemic anti-Black racism in the CSU. It included defunding and removing armed & militarized policing from campus, establishing Black/Africana Studies departments and student centers, hiring and supporting Black faculty, resourcing mental health and counseling teams on all campuses, and addressing cultural taxation.
These demands evolved in Our Way Forward, Volume II and into CFA’s health and safety proposal for alternatives to police on campus, culminating with this week’s announcement to examine a new way forward for student, staff, and faculty health and safety and policing on CSU campuses.