Politics are still causing issues when it comes to education. According to The NY Times, because of the Republican Convention in Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University (which is 4.7 miles away from the convention) is going to house 1,900 armed police officers and National Guardsmen for the entire week.
Case Western Reserve University will practically shut down because of the convention. They cited “concerns that last week’s shootings in Dallas, Louisiana and Minnesota could provoke a ‘significant degree of conflict’ in the city.”
Most students, however, believe that the campus is being shut down because of all of the officers that are being housed in dorms on campus. With all of the incidents that have gone on with police, they are concerned about their safety and the safety of African American and LGBTQ students on campus. Since all of the officers are armed, they are worried because of the state of the national climate when it comes to law enforcement. There are about 280 students living on campus this summer.
“The primary concern is the safety of the campus community,” said Taru Taylor, a Case Western Reserve law student from Washington, D.C., and a co-author of the petition. Mr. Taylor, citing police misconduct in Cleveland and across the nation, said he was concerned that by agreeing to house the police, the university was implicitly siding with them. “Also, there’s a sense in which the university should be a scholarly environment, a sanctuary from the police state,” Mr. Taylor said.
A change.org petition has been created to attempt to show the university how upset the students are that they are being forced to put their education on hold because of the convention and to attempt to put limitations on the officers in order for their safety. It is titled “Student Safety During Riot Police Occupation of Case Western Reserve University.” As of Saturday, July 16, 400 people have signed the petition.
The petition demanded that the police store their gear and weapons off campus; that they not enter university-owned buildings other than their assigned dorms; that they not use alcohol or mind-altering drugs; and that they abide by campus rules governing sexual harassment, anti-discrimination and the use of weapons (The NY Times).
The university is also concerned about any possible incidents, which is why they are asking any and all students that do not need to be on campus to remove themselves. Professors were asked to change the location of their classes or to postpone them for the week. With summer classes already being on a tight schedule, this is a very large request. One professor wrote a protest article.
In announcing the closings to students, faculty and staff, the university said,“Every school and unit has been asked to minimize the number of people on campus, as well as the number of its campus buildings that are open.” The university has also made arrangements to move students to dormitories away from those housing the law enforcement officers, or provide rebates to students who wish to move off campus during the convention, Ms. Sheridan said.
Case Western Reserve University is one of five colleges in the area that is housing students. The amount that the university is getting paid to house them would not be disclosed.
Lead Image Credit: Case_western_reserve_campus_2005; Yassie via Wikimedia Commons