Students at the University of California, Santa Barbara are asking school administrators to disarm its campus police of all “lethal and military-grade hardware.”
According to The Daily Nexus, the Associated Students Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling on officials to disarm police who, when armed, potentially present dangers for the university community.
Authored by Ricardo Uribe, a senator from the College of Letters & Science, the resolution says the university should “provide guidelines for non-police, community-based responses to community wellness issues.”
“Having the UC be armed is something that should not be happening, especially the UCPD,” Uribe said, citing Deltopia and Halloween as past examples of “over-policing.”
On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger went on a shooting rampage, killing 6 university students and injuring 13 others. Rodger was later found dead in a car with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Before starting his killing spree, he posted a video on YouTube expressing his displeasure against women who rejected him and promising vengeance against them.
Ivana Cruz, the resolution’s student sponsor, attributed “perpetual fear and tension” among students on campus to the presence of armed police officers.
“It’s bad for student mental health, and it’s definitely going to affect the way that our ability to function as students works,” Cruz said.
Just last month, administrators at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston rejected a proposal to arm its campus police. The school’s Board of Trustees defeated the proposal by 8-2 to keep its force unarmed.
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