Tuesday, October 25, 2016
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Campus Incident Leads to Swift Action

Dear Morgan Family:

I am writing to give you an update on the plan that the University will be pursuing going forward to continue our effort toward ensuring a robust, intellectually stimulating, academically rigorous and safe learning community.

Last night, I held a campus-wide conversation with several hundred students and other members of our University community in attendance.  Based on the issues raised during the meeting, the University will be taking the following actions immediately:

I. Campus Policing

A.   We spent a great deal of time discussing campus policing at Morgan.  Please know that over the last few years, the University has made a significant investment in growing our police operation, and in introducing the concept of community policing within the MSU Police Department.  As of today, we have 30 sworn police officers on our campus; however, we will be adding six more officers to our force immediately, and four additional officers by the end of the Fall Semester—which will bring our total to 40 officers. This means that we would have one of the largest public safety outfits among public campuses in the City of Baltimore.

B.   We heard some level of dissatisfaction with the current way in which personnel who are assigned to our security booths on campus are exercising their responsibilities.  With that in mind, we are moving immediately to engage a new company to manage the booth security operations at the University, and are changing the way in which those individuals will carry out their duties and responsibilities.

C.   The Morgan State University Police Department has as a goal to respond to all routine calls within 15-20 minutes, if not sooner.  Emergency calls will be responded to immediately.

D.   The Morgan State University Police Department embraces a comprehensive patrolling strategy that includes car patrolling, Segway patrolling, bike patrolling and foot patrolling. However, starting today, during peak times around Rawlings, Thurgood Marshall and the Blount Towers area, there will be an increased number of officers engaged in foot patrolling.

We think that the additional steps we are taking, in conjunction with the steps that we have already taken, will move us further along toward our goal of a safe and secure campus.

II. Zero Tolerance for Fighting

Let me express clearly to all students that Morgan State University has zero tolerance for fighting on the campus.  Starting immediately, any students found responsible for fighting on the campus will be suspended immediately from campus residential facilities.  There will be no second chances.

III. Conflict Resolution Training

Starting in Fall 2015, all new students entering Morgan State University will be required to take training in conflict resolution.  The University is exploring an online education module that will be available to all students for this purpose, and you will be hearing more about this in the next couple of months.

IV. Learning Communities

This past year, the University experimented with the learning community concept within our residential halls.  A learning community is an approach to housing where individuals who share a common interest reside in the same location.  Next year, we are expanding this concept more broadly to include several learning communities, such as a learning community for students who are in the Arts; a learning community for students who are interested in innovation and engineering; a bio-medical learning community; an architecture/design learning community; and a human and world understanding learning community, to name a few.

Let me conclude by reiterating that we at Morgan have high standards for character and behavior, and we expect everyone within our community to meet and exceed these standards.  Based on what we have learned from recent incidents, it seems as if there are issues revolving around male/female relationships that need further attention.  We will be working with our Counseling Center to identify additional resources that will enable them to more effectively minister to the needs of our students in this area.

Morgan State University is an institution known for excellence in everything that we do, and we will continue unabatedly down this path.


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