Campus, Community and Personal Safety Advisory Committee
To the Campus Community,
We are in a time where policing, violence, and systemic issues of racial and social inequity are at the forefront of American consciousness. As both a cultural historian and leader of a University that is home to diverse students, faculty, and staff from various backgrounds and regions across the world, I consider it my responsibility to respond to this call to action with thoughtful and purposeful action.
Today, I am writing to you to announce the Campus, Community and Personal Safety Advisory Committee, formed for the specific purpose of researching and identifying opportunities for further collaboration and enhanced partnership between our campus community and our University Police Department (UPD).
UPD has worked hard to maintain a safe and secure campus for all members of the community, including working closely with our students to develop important connections. Most recently, UPD has been essential in providing valuable assistance and security in navigating the COVID-19 crisis and our University’s swift emergency response.
That being said, we at Stony Brook are painfully aware that larger systems of trust between citizens and law enforcement are broken at a national scale and continue to be strained, as evidenced by the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin and the subsequent public outcry.
The committee is charged with helping to build this trust by developing a set of recommendations and guidelines, that can enhance the work of UPD and create a progressive culture of understanding and accountability within our campus community. Led by co-chairs Judith Brown Clarke, Vice President of Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, and Lawrence Zacarese, Interim Chief of Police and Assistant Vice President for Campus Safety, Senior Operations Director for Institutional Resiliency and Business Continuity.
As a campus community, Stony Brook cannot achieve its core mission if it does not embrace the lessons of this cultural moment and the demands of our community. This is the foundation of the Campus, Community and Personal Safety Advisory Committee’s work. Together, with intentionality, we will create a campus that feels safe and productive for all.