Letter to the Editor: Meeting between BSA and campus police was positive step


BSA (Regente Myers)

Members of BSA and the Police Department pose for a picture after the March 1 meeting

Dear Editor,

We appreciate and respect the Courier’s right to report and tell stories. The Courier has a fine team with smart and creative students and a talented staff. The paper engages those who read or follow the stories and articles. For that, we applaud your work!

Our letter is in response to the Courier’s volume 52, number 21 edition that featured a story regarding a meeting with the Black Student Alliance (BSA) and members of the College of DuPage Police Department. We would like to point out that the cover photo and quote along with the article misrepresents the nature, tone and positive outcome of the meeting.

When members of BSA and the COD Police department met on Thursday March 1, 2018, we had a healthy discussion about the Student Services Center Atrium and interactions in that area.  We acknowledged challenges that exist in the space and even discussed incidents to establish the appropriate perspective of interactions between students and COD Police.

Everyone in the meeting was respectful and cordial in dialogue and tone. Both parties acknowledged that there were opportunities to improve relations and establish a shared interest in addressing questions about how the space is utilized. After the initial dialogue, the discussion moved to unite the team to examine ways to work together and define next steps to engage in dialogue with the college administration about the Atrium.

Unfortunately, the Courier seemed to stop listening at the point the conversation turned from past incidents to future prospects and choose to represent the meeting in a stereotypical fashion that makes inferences about African American students and police officers.

On behalf of those present at the meeting we feel the cover of the paper was inflammatory to members of the BSA and it casts an unfair perspective from the meeting for both BSA and members of the COD police department. No one denies what was said in the article itself.  However, it is perplexing to us that the Courier did not tell the complete story and sensationalized aspects of a conversation that misrepresents the whole of the meeting.

We feel the overall presentation from the Courier in this edition, the cover along with how the article was structured misconstrues a very positive first step by students to engage the college in conversation about appropriate use of an open space and the student’s sense of place and belonging. The attached photo from the same meeting, in our opinion better represents what the meeting was about in regards to collaboration and positive outcomes.

In this instant, the Courier has to consider the entire story and the appropriate representation of a positive dialogue and what is the start of a good working relationship for College of DuPage.

Respectfully Submitted,

Black Student Alliance

College of DuPage Police Department

Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion