5 times campus leftists tried to Defund the Police this year
Below are five instances from 2021 when students or administrators tried to defund or eliminate their schools' campus police forces.
Below are five instances from 2021 when students or administrators tried to defund or eliminate their schools’ campus police forces.
A resolution to establish a task force focused on defunding the police at Virginia Tech was introduced by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. In the proposition, the students call for funding to be redistributed to social services such as multicultural centers and counseling.
The resolution also threatened that failure of the university to convene the force would result in the “immediate dissolvement of the campus police with their financial resources distributed to the Cultural and Community Centers and Cook counseling services and their equipment disposed of or sold at auction.”
A guide entitled “How to Grow Abolition on Your Campus: 8 Actions” was published on Boston University’s African American Studies Department website and social media. The guide outlines 8 steps college students can take to organize on their campus in an effort to eliminate policing.
Strategies listed in the guide include “mobilize with campus labor unions, student organizations, faculty and all other collectives to abolish police beyond our campuses”, “build radical forms of community and interdependence”, and “amplify the work of social and political movements and front-line organizations.” According to the guide, law enforcement emerges from racism and reforms are not enough to “change the fundamental purpose of policing.”
After a shooting in West Campus, a student organization at the University of Texas at Austin called “Cops off Campus” staged a protest in response to the University’s announcement to increase police patrol.
Students involved in the protest marched through campus carrying a sign that read “Students and Workers Demand Cops Off Campus” and “Down With Capitalism/Imperialism” and handed out literature with a QR code linking to a student-made manifesto that discusses the “troubled past and present” of the university.
A student spokesperson for the organization told Campus Reform that increasing the police presence would “make shootings more common because there is less money going to mental health services.
An anti-police protest at the University of California Davis resulted in graffiti and smoke bombs disrupting campus property. The protest, which originally began as peaceful, took a chaotic turn as protestors engaged in vandalism, spray painting derogatory phrases such as “F**k 12” and “ACAB” on signs outside of the department.
Prior to the event, the university released a statement announcing new policy changes from the recommendation of the Campus Safety Oversight Committee, including steps to defund the police department, reallocate funds and reconfigure staffing, and establish a “restorative justice program and new approaches to mental health crises.”
The “Cops Off Campus” coalition organized a national Day of Refusal, calling on individuals from across the country to abstain from “work, class, teaching, and more” on May 3. The petition suggested that policing is militarized, and calls for cops to be removed from campus to “make our university truly safe and free for all.”
The petition gathered support from 603 students, faculty, and professors, 17 signatures from departments at different universities, and 29 signatures from different organizations. It was also endorsed by the American Studies Association, who published a statement of support.