Updated on Oct. 7: This story was updated to include quotes from ASUO President Isaiah Boyd.
The ASUO Executive Branch shared a memorandum regarding the movement to disarm the University of Oregon Police Department on Instagram on Monday afternoon.
“The memorandum that we released isn’t meant to be this finalized, ‘Hey this is what we want to push for, this is what we’re going to create,’” ASUO President Isaiah Boyd said. “More so an open ended document that we can all sit down and look at and use that as a starting point for the discussions going forward.”
The document contains five articles, outlining a mission, proposal, comprehensive plan, amendments and sign offs from both individuals and student organizations.
The first article overviewed the memorandum’s goal: “to serve as a guide for cultivating a safer campus environment for all students,” specifically through the lens of combating systemic racism and making campus a safer place for People of Color.
“No one individual is responsible for systemic racism within the country, and our University, but we are all responsible for fighting it,” the executive officers wrote.
The document explained that armed officers “can yield, not only a symbol, but real world actions of danger, hatred, and white supremacy.” ASUO pointed to the death of Jason Washington at Portland State University, the recent disarming of the PSU police and the fact that Black students are more likely to feel a sense of anxiety than safety around police officers.
In the second article, ASUO explained the importance of disarming the UOPD to “create a safer environment for all University of Oregon students, staff, and faculty, especially those from minority communities.” They also acknowledged that simply disarming officers will not end systemic racism.
The third article proposed “a campus wide task force designed with the primary objective of evaluating and determining alternatives to UOPD.” It stipulated that membership would include members from ASUO and the university’s faculty Senate, as well as individuals from the Resident Hall Association and Safety and Risk Services. The group would also include members from selected student organizations, the article stated.
ASUO emphasized the importance of “vigilance,” requesting that this task force “meet biennially to continue to discuss disarming and abolishing UOPD” with the hope of creating lasting systemic change.
The fourth article provided space for UO community members to propose amendments to the memorandum and the fifth allowed for individuals and organizations to sign the document.
Boyd explained he had communicated with Vice President Kevin Marbury and UO President Michael Schill about Disarm UO, but didn’t want to limit student input to just his own voice. “I’m hoping that with this document we can then open it up to the wider campus community and really kickstart the discussions,” he said.
“We’d like to later present this to administration,” ASUO expressed on its Instagram post, “but we understand the need to hear students voices first.”
Prior to the Instagram post, ASUO executives shared the memorandum at last week’s ASUO Senate meeting and with UO student organizations.