To: Proctors, Campus Cop, Campus Watch, David Richardson and OUSA:
I have received a worrying e-mail from NORML: while it seems to be full of rhetoric and hyperbole, it claims that a student casually smoking marijuana on campus was arrested by the Campus Cop [CC], as alerted by Campus Watch [CW]. While I'm well aware that such things are illegal and I'm not a big advocate for marijuana liberalisation, I do agree that this is probably not the best use of CW time.
More importantly, it sounds very much like a breach of the trust that allowed a Campus Cop to be invited on campus in the first place.
Current staff may not be aware, on Ron Chamber's [the former Proctor] insistence, the Campus Cop position was only allowed on campus with the acceptance of OUSA.
I, as a part of the 'negotiating' team, was largely against the position because of the foot-in-the-door nature of such positions, and predicted the position would eventually be used to police students in their own workplace (I think AUS [the Association of University Staff] also had similar concerns about having Police permanently in staff's workplace), instead of simply being a more accessible Police face for students (as the position was presented).
OUSA was assured on several occasions by both Ron and the proposed CC that this was absolutely not the case; we were assured that the CC was there to help students - and not to police them. To illustrate this point with an example, the proposed CC specifically said that the position would not be used to target marijuana smokers on campus.
If a student lights up in front of the CC, no problems - I understand they must take action in such a situation, no argument there. However, if the CC is being used to actively seek and arrest marijuana smokers, this is a significant breach of the specific conditions under which OUSA supported the implementation of the Campus Cop. If this is true, obviously OUSA may have to withdraw its support of the position, and quite reasonably demand that it be removed from campus. Not a desirable situation.
I think the CC position has been largely successful, and has indeed generally been the more accessible Police face and liaison for students. I'd hate to see my original foot-in-the-door predictions fulfilled. I hope either there's more to the story than has been presented by NORML - or better, it's simply untrue, or that this is strictly a one off incident.
OUSA Life Member
Unfortunately as we can now see all of these things ARE happening and it is not an accident or a one off event! The Proctor and Dunedin Police have violated the trust of and agreements with OUSA and shoud no longer be welcome on campus. This issue is not going to go away!!!