Campus Safety Working Group

Since the fall of 2020 and throughout the 2021 year, the Brown University community has engaged in a reflective and ongoing discussion of how we can improve Brown’s approach to ensuring safety in ways that enhance belonging and wellbeing for all members of our community. This has included an external review of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), campus discussion led by the Brown University Community Council, and the establishment of a new position of Vice President for Campus Safety. The overall goal is to further and improve the University’s efforts to promote and sustain a campus community in which all of its members — students, faculty, and staff — are and feel safe, are treated with respect, and provided with equitable access to the full array of employment and educational resources provided by the University. Brown’s responsibility for the safety of the community is grounded in a core set of commitments:

1.    Conducting work at the highest standards of professional excellence.
2.    Fostering the equitable and inclusive treatment of everyone, rooted in dignity and respect.
3.    Being transparent about how work is conducted (recognizing that transparency may sometimes be limited by the need for confidentiality and privacy).
4.    Being accountable to the community with respect to all aspects of work.

Essential to achieving our goals in this arena is the development of a vision enabling a more holistic approach to safety that involves close collaboration between DPS, Campus Life including health and wellness departments and programs and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, as well as greater community engagement. Vice President for Campus Life Eric Estes and Vice President for Campus Safety Rodney Chatman will lead — in close collaboration with campus partners and students, faculty and staff — a Campus Safety Working Group during the 2021-2022 academic year to develop, implement and advance the implementation this vision. The Working Group will be responsible for identifying and implementing opportunities for improvement on an ongoing basis will give periodic updates to the BUCC on their progress.

The Campus Safety Working Group will examine and address the following strategic questions and areas of focus:

•    To what extent do members of the Brown community — students, faculty, and staff — experience a common and consistent sense of belonging on the Brown campus and surrounding area? Where are there structural and systemic barriers to ensuring a sense of belonging and how can those barriers be reduced and eliminated? Where there are different experiences (e.g., students of color being questioned more frequently than white students if they belong in a campus building) what concrete policies and action steps can be taken to address those unacceptable disparities?

•    How do the wide range of offices and departments with responsibility for a collective vision of campus safety and security that centers wellbeing — including but not limited to the Division of Campus Life, University Health Services, Environmental Health & Safety, the Office of University Events and Conference Services, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, the Department of Facilities Management, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Public Safety – work together? How do we deepen collaboration to support existing work (processes, policies, programs, and facilities) and identify and promote new opportunities to strengthen holistic wellbeing in our community?

•    What is the current state, quality and consistency of educational and professional growth and training efforts and processes for accountability for members of the Department of Public Safety and other offices and staff that engage in and support campus safety efforts that foster and ensure the equitable and inclusive treatment of others, rooted in dignity and respect? Where are there opportunities for improvement including greater coordination and collaboration across campus departments regarding education, training and professional development, especially in the areas of implicit bias and structural and systemic racism?

•    What processes, policies and programs are currently in place to collect, analyze and assess data related to campus safety, including data relevant to Brown community member experiences with campus safety personnel and data that provides insight into the general sense of belonging or not on the Brown campus? How can we best address disparate or discriminatory treatment of individuals or resulting from the policies, processes and programs? How is data used in furtherance of improving belonging and wellbeing on a safe Brown campus and how is it disseminated in the interest of transparency that builds trust and confidence?

•    What opportunities exist for ensuring safety that promote belonging and wellbeing at university events, including those planned and hosted by student organizations? What policies and processes are in place to make decisions about student event safety and management, including decisions about public safety details, and how effective are those efforts? What improvements can be made that will ensure greater transparency with regard to event safety decision-making and risk management? Student engagement and participation in answering these questions will be critical, and the planning process has a particular responsibility for identifying action items which can be implemented quickly (e.g., during this academic year) and which appropriately balance safety and risk mitigation with the experience of students and other community members at events.

•    What opportunities exist for improvements to how the University handles and responds to calls for emergency medical response? Closely related to these issues, how well does the current model for accessing these and other campus safety services work and are there different models or approaches to intake and calls for service and resources like EMS or the Administrator On-Call that the University should consider?

•    What structures are or should be in place to promote and ensure community engagement, advice and input with regard to campus safety especially related to belonging and wellbeing? Structures should be considered and recommended that prioritize community-wide perspectives and engagement with the holistic approach including access to and use of data, active and informed input, transparency, confidence and trust, and accountability.

Campus Safety Working Group Members
•    Rodney Chatman, Vice President for Campus Safety (co-chair)
•    Eric Estes, Vice President for Campus Life (co-chair)
•    Kevin Andrews, Department of Public Safety
•    Sylvia Carey-Butler, Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity
•    Michael Guglielmo, Vice President for Facilities Management
•    Shoshonna Lewis, Deputy Athletics Director for Governance and Student Services
•    Thomas Martin, medical student 
•    Amy Sanderson, Director of Emergency Medical Services, Health Services 
•    Maria Suarez, Associate Dean for Student Support and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Graduate School
•    Ilyaas Sugal, undergraduate student
•    Kathryn Thompson, graduate student
•    Loc Truong, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life Engagement
ex officio, Michael Grabo, Associate General Counsel
Staffed by Dana Hamdan, Associate Vice President for Administration, Campus Life