Despite the best efforts of SODA and DFA, the campus public safety officers are now carrying handguns. Our good friend, and fellow blogger Phil, says “With Brandeis Police having guns, it makes guns a part of our campus life,” Lacombe said. “I like to think of Brandeis as a safe zone where we can keep certain things away from our community, but now guns are a part of it.”
This was exactly why I involved myself with SODA. Guns are a tool of violence that have been introduced into the Brandeis community; and the decision was made without sufficient community input. Ultimately SODA lost, but that does not mean that the work is over. After it became clear that we were fighting a losing battle; I proposed that we hold a few trainings on knowing your rights. How many of us actually know what we are allowed to do when stopped by a cop? Now that the campus police are armed, it is absolutely critical that every student knows what their rights are when they are approached by an authority figure holding a weapon.
While I know many of us will be busy campaigning for Obama this fall, I think that it is important that we still have a strong focus on the social justice issues closest to home. That’s why I intend to make ‘rights trainings’ one of my goals as a member of the Student Union Senate. We cannot let the administration and campus safety abuse their powers; and it is the responsibility of the Student Union to keep them in check.
If anyone else is interested in this project let me know.