OSU launches campus safety website, announces four public safety input listening sessions

OSU is discussing the possibility of the Corvallis Police Department serving as a transitional law enforcement service provider, according to an email sent by President Edward Ray. Oregon State held four public safety listening sessions to gain input from the community regarding possible transitional and long-term campus law-enforcement service providers. 

Tanveer Sandhu, News Contributor

Four Public Safety Input and Listening Sessions are set to be held in early March, according to a campus safety website that Oregon State University launched Tuesday.  

The four sessions will take place between Monday, Mar. 9 and Wednesday, Mar. 11. Three will be held on campus, in the Memorial Union Horizon Room. One session will be held off-campus, in the main meeting room of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. 

The sessions on Mar. 9 and Mar. 11 are both scheduled for 6-8 p.m., in the MU. On Tuesday, Mar. 10, two sessions will take place: From 10 a.m. to noon, the first will take place in the MU. Then from 7-9 p.m., the second will be held in the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

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Paul Odenthal, senior associate vice president for administration, and co-chair of the Public Safety Advisory Committee said all four sessions will follow the same format. He said they are offering different times in order to allow for the greater participation and convenience of OSU and Corvallis community members. 

“The sessions will center around community members participating in facilitated small group discussions,” Odenthal said via email. “We encourage everyone to join us for these sessions or share their input online within a website we have launched that includes an online tool for submitting input.”

Odenthal said the committee believes input received from community members is a key part of the committee’s process and will help inform the committee’s recommendations.

The Public Safety Advisory Committee is made up of more than a dozen students, faculty and staff and includes representatives from the Associated Students of Oregon State University, the Faculty Senate, the offices and departments of Institutional Diversity, Public Safety, Faculty Affairs, Athletics, Student Affairs, Compliance, University Relations and Marketing, General Counsel and Finance and Administration. 

The committee was formed shortly after Oregon State Police terminated its contract with OSU on Oct. 23. Through the work of the committee, OSU has been searching to find transitional and long-term law enforcement service providers for its Corvallis campus.

In early December, OSU President Edward Ray sent an email suggesting the option of the Corvallis Police Department serving as a transitional law-enforcement provider for OSU. According to Odenthal, discussions on this potential arrangement are still ongoing between the university and the city of Corvallis.

On this arrangement, Odenthal added, “the committee looks forward to receiving input from community members regarding public safety needs and services, as well as input regarding the values and principles they desire in how public safety services and programs may be delivered going forward.”