UC students explore 'alternatives to calling the police'

The University of Chicago will soon host a workshop on how to avoid the “negative ramifications” of contacting law enforcement by teaching students “alternatives to calling the police.”

During a workshop scheduled for February 22, explicitly titled “Alternatives to Calling the Police,” the prestigious school’s “Students Working Against Prisons” club will discuss “the negative ramifications of calling the police, especially in regards to their racial oppression of black people and other people of color.”

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“It will then prompt participants to reflect on their own relationship to the police,” a description for the event explains, noting that the workshop will conclude with a “guided brainstorming of alternatives to calling the police.”

According to an advertisement for the event, students will consider alternatives to law enforcement officials in cases of “mugging,” “sexual assault,” “health emergencies,” “mental health crises,” and “public nuisances,” or “‘suspicious’ activity.”

Campus Reform contacted the group hosting the event for clarification on what precisely the alternatives to calling police would look like in each of those scenarios, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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Notably, Students Working Against Prisons was founded to protest the university’s ties to the food corporation “Bon Appetit,” a subsidiary of “Compass Group,” which the group describes as “the largest contract foodservice company in the world, and one that of course has a long history of involvement in prisons.”

The group goes on to explain that its objection to the Compass Group stems from the fact that it provides food to roughly 300,000 inmates at prisons across the country.

“Our goals are to educate U Chicago students about the prison-industrial complex, offer solidarity and support to prisoners, and end U Chicago’s ties to prisons,” the student group states.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski