Trevor

a blog so you can keep with him

I’m published

The Cooper Point Journal is a weekly newspaper at Evergreen, and a letter I wrote made it into this week’s (week 6) edition.

An Open Letter to the “Student / Serviceman Coalition”:

Upon finding your “Cops Welcome Here” flyer posted around campus, I was taken aback. Encounters with Evergreen Police Services (EPS) have not been positive for every one in the Evergreen community, regardless of their “criminal status”.

Here are some of the factors in favor of my positive treatment:

I am white
I am male
I speak a common dialect of English

The complex issues around “profiling”, broken-windows policing, gender disparities, and the use of force do not disappear with “keeping Evergreen a safe and positive environment”. I have difficulty with the claim that EPS are bogged down by “negative propaganda, biased reporting and undeserved stigma”, when minority students of all sorts (non-male, non-white, non-Standard English) are approached, reacted to, and treated differently than myself. Campus issues concerning rape, “active-shooter response” plans, sexual harassment, and the responses of the PSCRB speak to this, as I am sure EPS is well aware.

Concerning the “biased reporting”… Yes, I am biased. I am biased towards open, free communities in which dialogue and cooperation are valued; and discrimination and censorship are alien concepts. When you attempt to negate conversation with sweeping dismissals of all those who might have issues with the EPS at Evergreen, as I feel you, the “Student / Serviceman Coalition”, are doing, then I do not see your coalition as in favor of dialogue. There are ways to rectify this, though.

I support proactive campus services around campus issues, and Evergreen officers.
That does not require me to blindly support EPS’ practices, tactics, strategies, or affiliations: “Servicing the community” requires an understanding of community wishes and dynamics at all times. There must be a constant back-and-forth.

In short, the “Student / Serviceman Coalition” should emphasize discussion, cooperation, and non-discriminatory actions in our approaches as a peer-based community of students, teachers, service officers, and workers, and not mutely assent to the wishes or demands of one group. My goal is to engage in community discussion and debate here at TESC. We all need discussion in our written forums such as tesctalk and the CPJ; and at spoken forums such as debates, community dialogues, and meetings. If you claim “we support the brave men and women in uniform” then we need to talk.

Trevor Van Dyke

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Filed under: Evergreen, , , ,

One Response

  1. john says:

    Well done and congrats on being published!!

    And of course, thanks again for your contribution to Habitual Grace!!!

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