A red brick columned buidling with trees, grass and sunshine

Report of the Campus Safety Advisory Committee

Read the Committee’s report of April 18, 2022.

Charge of Committee

The Campus Safety Advisory Committee has been charged with generating options for a community safety model that will support the range of needs within our community and reflect our commitment to equity and inclusion. They have been asked to develop a range of options with an evaluation of the relative advantages and disadvantages of each for our community. The committee will present a preliminary report to the senior leadership and President Martin in October and a final briefing document presented in December. President Martin will then bring a recommendation to the Board.

As part of their work, in collaboration with Cambridge Hill, the committee will be asked to:

  • Design a broadly consultative process that is transparent and inclusive of the entire community and draws on the work of our Center for Restorative Practices;
  • Conduct research on alternative community safety models, including those that exist and those that are now being developed at other academic institutions, and use that to inform an evaluation of our current model;
  • Examine the costs and gains of alternative approaches, including disarming the police;
  • Explore how members of our community think about safety, broadly defined, to include physical and mental well-being;
  • Understand the distinct needs and interests of faculty, students, and staff, across all categories of identity as they pertain to safety; and
  • Identify the role for police in the context of a redefined community safety.

Campus Community Engagement Sessions

Please take a few minutes to complete the Campus Safety Survey even if you have attended one of the Campus Safety Engagement Sessions or one of the previous Restorative Circles. It is an important opportunity to provide feedback regarding campus safety issues.

Follow this link to the Survey:
Take the Survey

The issue of policing on campus is one that can highlight our divisions, solidify our positions, limit our willingness to listen to opposing views, and ultimately, stifle creative, community-based problem-solving. With that in mind, the Campus Safety Advisory Committee is offering several options for the Amherst community to engage with issues of safety and policing. Two are described here: Engagement Sessions and Restorative Circles.

 Campus Safety Engagement Sessions

We are offering engagement sessions where community members can share their thoughts, insights, experiences and perspectives with us in a series of community engagement sessions. Engagement sessions will be facilitated by our planning consultants, Jenn Desjarlais and Wilbur Herrington from Cambridge Hill Partners.  Any information or responses you provide will be held in confidence and the data gathered will only be used in the aggregate.  

These sessions will play a critical role in informing and shaping the options for a community safety model that we will develop and present to Biddy and the senior staff. We urge you to participate and encourage your honest and open input.

Restorative Circles 

Restorative Circles is an ancient model, rooted in indigenous practices that centers decision-making within the heart of the community. The Center for Restorative Practices (CRP) seeks to bridge contemporary divides by creating a space for us to sit with one another, probe polarizing positions, ask hard questions, and listen to personal stories as we seek innovative answers through active listening in community. Restorative listening circles will be facilitated by Susie Belleci, the director of our CRP. Any information gathered from the conversations will not be attributed to individual participants; rather, feedback from the groups will be shared with the committee in the form of consistent themes or headlines emerging from the conversations. If you would like to learn more about restorative circles, please take a moment to watch this informative video.

Upcoming Restorative Circles can be registered here.

Thank you.