By: Logan Whitcomb
In 2020, the call to “Defund the Police” echoed across many college campuses in America, with any opposition to this narrative being seen as contrarian or even racist. However, recent events have caused some students to question their stance.
At the University of Pittsburgh, a surge in on-campus crime has led several students to demand action from the administration regarding campus security. In the past, an extensive ID scan system was required for entry to every building, but this policy has since been relaxed.
Last semester, a sexual assault report from inside the campus cathedral sparked protests, with an anonymous student creating a petition that garnered over 6,000 signatures before being deleted. The university responded by pledging to increase police presence, which caused an uproar from students who claimed that police made them feel “unsafe”. The petition’s creator even apologized, clarifying that they meant “more unarmed security, people signing us in/out of dorms, people watching cameras, etc.”
Despite this initial backlash, it seems that recent incidents have made students more open to the idea of increased security measures. In January, an unknown individual entered a residential building due to the lack of ID scan, and this has raised concerns about campus safety.
It is evident that calling for defunding the police while also demanding increased safety on campus is an illogical request. What schools and communities need is more funding for police and safety departments to better train and equip those who protect students, faculty, staff, and visitors daily.