Ohio State Student Government Demands University Sever Ties with Columbus Police

OSU mascot Brutus Buckeye
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The student government of Ohio State University is demanding that the school sever ties with Columbus Police, citing “injustices against the black community and Columbus protesters.”

“The Columbus Police Department (CPD) responded to peaceful protestors and large crowds with wooden bullets, teargas, pepper spray, and other chemical agents and military-grade forces,” wrote the student government in their letter addressed to the university president Michael V. Drake and other top level university administrators, according to a report by NBC4 News.

“We witnessed our peers and Columbus neighbors endure unwarranted physical and verbal aggression for peacefully demanding justice and exercising their right to protest,” added the student government members.

The report added that the letter’s authors — undergraduate student body president Roaya Higazi, council of graduate students president Stephen Post, and council of Student Affairs chair Jordan Vajda — also included a list of demands for the university.

The letter included the following five demands:

The Ohio State University Police Department (OSUPD) immediately cease contractual agreements with Columbus Police Department for any and all on-campus investigations, services, and events.

The OSUPD immediately cease Mutual Aid service contracts with the Columbus Police Department and strongly reevaluate Joint Patrol operations to restrict the presence of and limit the frequency of calls to CPD officers and resources in the off-campus living areas.

The Ohio State University no longer accept federal, military-grade resources and reduce OSUPD’s budget for expenditures that may be used for further militarization. Instead, reallocate the funds to further invest in student support units, such as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Student Life Multicultural Center, Student Life Counseling and Consultation Services, or the StudentLife Student Wellness Center.

The OSU Department of Public Safety release an action plan, devised with student input, that affirms the commitment to Black student safety and overall university safety through disarmed, anti-force, and culturally competent practices.

The Ohio State University acknowledge and condemn the anti-Black violence the Columbus Police Department committed against Ohio State students and the greater Columbus community.

A spokesperson for Ohio State said that university President Michael Drake understands that students are “hurting” during this time, and that he and other administrators will be in contact with student government members.

“As President Drake wrote on Saturday, George Floyd suffered a horrendous and completely unnecessary death,” said the university spokesperson. “His killing, and those that have come before, demand that we create a different future.”

“We know our students are hurting, we are here to support them, and we are inspired by their commitment to this cause,” the spokesperson added. “We must all work together to end abuse, discrimination, bigotry, and hatred. We will be in dialogue with our student government leaders about the specific concerns they have raised.”

Meanwhile, at the University of Minnesota, school administrators succumbed to students’ demands and cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department. The decision was made in the wake of student-led protests, such as the “Get Cops Off Our Campus” rally on Friday.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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