Campus Reform | After attempting to recall students who voted ‘no,’ Cornell student assembly passes resolution for disarming university police

After attempting to recall students who voted ‘no,’ Cornell student assembly passes resolution for disarming university police

Cornell University’s student assembly passed a resolution to disarm the school’s police department.

After a similar vote failed in November, student assembly members attempted to invoke recalls on their classmates who voted against disarmament.

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Cornell University’s student assembly passed a resolution to disarm the school’s police department.

Cornell University President Martha Pollack now has the opportunity to approve the resolution, which would result in Cornell University Police losing the ability to use lethal weapons. According to the student assembly’s website, the resolution is currently  “waiting for submission to the president.”

“The policing system in America is rooted in racism, slavery, corruption, and violence, particularly against Black and Brown people, which has been commonplace since the institution’s inception,” stated the resolution.

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Citing the Thirteenth Amendment and the establishment of unpaid labor in prisons, the resolution asserted that “to this day, the exploitation of prison labor is continually perpetuated, predominantly targeting Black neighborhoods to sustain these racist systems which disproportionately police and incriminate Black individuals.”

The authors stated that “policing on college campuses started as a way to break up student movements before they grew large enough to effectively pressure the administration to win change.”

Citing movements to disarm police at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Portland State University, and Yale University, the student assembly requested “immediately disarming the Cornell University Police department of all lethal weapons.”

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As an alternative, the resolution’s authors suggest “investing into more CAPS staff and making mental health services more accessible to the campus community.”

A similar vote to disarm Cornell University Police occurred in November. Student assembly members, most of whom voted to disarm the police, and other Cornell students filed 14 petitions to have all but one colleague who voted “no” on  the disarm the police resolution removed from their offices.

None of the petitions gained enough signatures to initiate the recall process, however. 

One Cornell undergraduate, who wished to remain anonymous, told Campus Reform that “the nightmare that has been our student government over the past couple of years is deserving of media attention.”

“For me personally, I think that I largely would not feel any different regarding my personal safety on campus were CUPD without firearms, though I would feel different if they were entirely without weapons,” he explained. 

"The larger issue at hand here is the ideological foundation from which this resolution is founded, and the means that have been used to advance it.”

Campus Reform reached out to Cornell University for comment and will update this article accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft