Georgetown students and administrators conducted a panel in the ICC Auditorium about Georgetown’s response to hate crimes last Thursday.
Several administrators attended the panel, included Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson and Vice President for University Safety Rocco DelMonaco. While there was little information about the crimes, the forum was full of information about safety at Georgetown.
DEFINING HATE CRIMES: The moderator pressed Olson to explain why Public Safety Alerts typically say “bias-related incident” instead of “hate crime.” Olson said Georgetown uses a legalistic definition of hate crime that only certain crimes qualify under.
When GUSA Speaker Adam Talbot (COL ’12) asked Olson about the GUSA Senate’s bill to change the way hate crimes are treated under the Student Code of Conduct, Olson said the Office of Student Conduct would consider the legislation, but declined to say whether it would be adopted.
STUDENT PATROLS: In meetings after the hate crimes, GU Pride and other students have talked about organizing a group of students patrol campus at night, presumably to prevent hate crimes. DelMonaco pointed students towards other student-run safety groups like the Students Safety Advisory Board and APO’s shuttle service; Olson seemed less than enthusiastic about the idea.
“We need to make sure that if we’re putting students out in a patrol function, that those students are going to be safe,” Olson said.
More about security cameras on campus, arming DPS and Solidarity’s spat with Rocco after the jump!
CAMERAS ON CAMPUS: DelMonaco was asked why, since there is a camera near the site of the second hate crime, the camera hasn’t been used in the investigation. He said he wasn’t sure whether the camera in question was aimed at the site of the hate crime. Additionally, not all security cameras have a direct feed to DPS, so if this is one of them investigators have to go through the tapes.
In good news for Vox commenters who hunger for more cameras, DelMonaco said there are plans to expand Georgetown’s camera system. In bad news for said commenters, DelMonaco said there is currently no money to purchase new cameras.
ARMING DPS: DelMonaco said there are no plans to give DPS more lethal weapons.
SOLIDARITY V. ROCCO: Ever since the Solidarity’s representative’s speech at the hate crime vigil, Solidarity has been using the hate crimes as a springboard for its campaign to support the DPS union in negotiations with the University for higher wages.
Surprisingly, a question about the union negotiations earned the biggest reaction from the audience, with cheers and whoops. Or maybe it’s not so surprising, since higher DPS wages seem like the most concrete suggested response to the hate crimes.
DelMonaco said he can’t comment on ongoing with negotiations with the union, out of respect for the negotiations. To which a Solidarity representative later asked, “Do you really expect us to think you respect the union representatives?” DelMonaco looked annoyed.