Senators vote for open discussions with police

Resolution will address concerns regarding recent sexual misconduct in police department



Director of Communication Brandon Crawford, left, Rachel Ring deputy director of communication, center, and deputy director of communications Skylar Schmidt give a report about their work to the ASWSU Senate on Wednesday night at the CUB.

DAISY ZAVALA, Evergreen managing editor

The ASWSU Senate showed support for open forum discussions between police departments, the Pullman community and students to address sexual misconduct and violence at Wednesday night’s meeting in the CUB.

The resolution was authored by ASWSU Senators Synthia Alcantar and Hannah Martian and called for an open discussion to take place once every academic year. The discussions will address community concerns regarding sexual misconduct.

The rest of the senators approved the resolution unanimously.

In 2018, a Pullman Police sergeant was arrested for alleged first-degree sexual misconduct against a WSU student.

Alcantar said they wanted to have some form of accountability through open discussions.

“It’s to protect [all] students, because it doesn’t just happen to women,” Alcantar said.

A meeting was held with WSU Police Chief Bill Gardner and Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins, she said.

When they met with Gardner and Jenkins, the police chiefs didn’t see the training as necessary and decided an open discussion would be more beneficial, Alcantar said.

She said Jenkins said they already hold sexual assault trainings on how to handle sexual assault cases.

Alcantar said they agreed that an open discussion with the community would help build a bridge of trust.

The Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse would be present during the discussions, as a way to give the community an overview of whaResolution will address concerns about recent sexual misconduct in Pullman Police Departmentt constitutes sexual assault. The 2018 incident would also be discussed, she said.

Martian said the statistics in the resolution demonstrates violence against women is a pervasive problem, not only in the police community, but in society as a whole.

The resolution mentioned a study conducted by Bowling State Green University that found “…Police officers in the US were charged with forcible rape 405 times between 2005 and 2013 and were charged with fondling 636 times.”

“These statistics in the resolution are real and are happening and it’s our job to have some accountability for them,” Alcantar said.

Alcantar said Martian will work to oversee the forum next year.