Pat Dowd and GUSA get tough on crime
Along with the numerous Public Safety Alert emails you’ve been receiving lately, you may have noticed a message from GUSA about their “Campus Safety efforts.” If the text of the e-mail seems familiar, that’s because it’s copied-and-pasted from the GUSA Campus Safety Watch Facebook group President Pat Dowd created recently.
Since, as the message declares, “a ‘business as usual’ approach to campus safety is failing to meet the needs of our community,” GUSA is soliciting recommendations and promising to present them to whoever DPS Director Darryl Harrison’s successor is. As of 12:30 a.m., the Facebook group, though boasting 295 members, has only 5 wall posts and 1 discussion post. Dowd told me via email that he has received over 20 student responses in the six hours since the campus-wide e-mail was sent out.
The missive also encourages students to join the Facebook group, saying that “By joining this group, you are sending a clear message to the administration that campus security it [sic] a major concern for you as a Georgetown student.” Does joining a Facebook group really constitute active participation in campus life, though? Surely there are more substantive ways of conveying your concern about safety issues than clicking the “Join this Group” button.
The open meeting VP for Student Affairs Todd Olson and VP for University Safety Rocco DelMonaco held Tuesday evening was pretty sparsely attended, even for study days. There were approximately 50-60 audience members, about half of whom were faculty or staff members. “Where are all these ‘mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore’ students?” someone sitting near me asked.
There’s also an interesting side note for any avid GUSA followers out there: back in the presidential campaign, during the debate hosted by The Hoya, Dowd distinguished himself from the other candidates by arguing that campus safety was not GUSA’s purview – “Safety is not a GUSA issue,” Dowd said in the debate.
After the jump, Dowd explains why he’s mucking around in safety now, the adorable Brian Kesten makes an appearance, and Rocco DelMonaco needs GUSA like jam needs toast.
Dowd told me why he now thinks safety is a GUSA issue:
“As I said in my email, it is clear, now more than ever, that a “business as usual” approach to campus safety is failing to meet the needs of our community. Advocating for increased campus safety will absolutely to be [sic] a top priority for GUSA in the coming year. I want to stress that this advocacy is about more than identifying flaws in the current system; it is about collaborating with administrators, it is about helping them to help us.”
In the open meeting Tuesday, GUSA Senator Brian Kesten asked what GUSA could do to help out.
DelMonaco basically said he had it under control but added, “If I thought I needed help, probably GUSA would be the first place I’d go.” I’m not sure I feel safer knowing GUSA is our VP for Safety’s first line of defense, but there it is.
-Juliana Brint, News Editor