Administrator, Prof. Yancy discuss Community Safety Advisory Board at Faculty Senate

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Daily file photo by Catherine Buchaniec

Rebecca Crown Center, which includes the office of the VP for Business and Finance. University administrators emphasized the Community Safety Advisory Board as a “clean slate.”

Yunkyo Kim, Development and Recruitment Editor

Feinberg Prof. Clyde Yancy and Senior Vice President for Business and Finance Craig Johnson updated faculty about the Community Safety Advisory Board at a Wednesday Faculty Senate meeting.

One of the University’s initiatives since June has been bringing external consultants to assess security practices and operational communications approach, Johnson said. The results of the consultation will likely come out in the winter. The University will also undergo “reformulation” of the board, he said.

Johnson said Monday’s University Police budgetary report was in the “spirit of transparency.”

“So that’s out there,” he said. “And that’s a point of beginning, sort of how we reimagine and reconsider what we form in terms of holistic security and safety.”

Yancy, who was announced Nov. 13 as the chair of the Community Safety Advisory Board, said he chose to be in the position to start a “new period of listening” and “a clean slate.”

Furthermore, Yancy said he plans to bring his medical experience and scientific mindset to diagnose the problem and guide his future leadership.

“The first step in the process is identifying a problem that we wish to solve,” he said. “In my view, that problem is to make certain that we have a safe campus. We have a phraseology that we use often in the Feinberg campus, that is ubiquitous throughout other like-minded medical centers that are dealing with medical students, and that is to create safe spaces. There’s no reason why Evanston shouldn’t be a safe space.”

Yancy said the board has conversed with Associated Student Government senior leadership as well as other campus organizations, and that he was looking forward to speaking directly with students.

Yancy and the Faculty Senate proceeded to open up the floor to questions from faculty representatives.

Feinberg Prof. Lois Hedman said she appreciated the emphasis on forthcoming conversations being “open.”

“I think it’s very important what I’m hearing tonight about being open, that there’s nothing that’s predetermined, and listening,” Hedman said. “Because that’s not the message that we’ve heard recently, in particular, to be honest, from the president.”

One professor asked how the University is considering the fact NU is in Evanston and the fact students have been demonstrating in Evanston. Yancy replied the situation indicates the need for the board, as well as a component of NU’s safety infrastructure that “advocates on behalf of the campus” to Evanston Police Department.

The University should have the interests of students, administrators and faculty “at heart,” which it currently does not, Yancy said.

“We don’t need to have tension against our security safety entity, and then tension with the Evanston safety security entity,” Yancy said. “We need to be aligned.”

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