By Kimberly Hale
Chancellor Gary S. May of the University of California, Davis, has established three task forces of students, faculty and staff to examine affordable student housing, food security and mental health care.
“These are issues that have tremendous impact on our community,” the chancellor said. “UC Davis has a great many services and resources available to our students, but it’s not a static landscape.
“How can we continue to provide the resources our students need effectively and efficiently? That’s what I’m asking the task force members to help me determine.”
The task force leaders:
- Affordable housing — David Campbell, Cooperative Extension specialist, director of the California Communities Program and associate dean in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
- Food security — Francene Steinburg, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition
- Mental health care — Cameron Carter, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and interim vice chancellor of the Office of Research
Each task force has been asked to review existing programs and options, consider improvements and make recommendations. Reports are due to the chancellor by June 30.
The safety of the UC Davis community is also a top priority. Resources including Safe Rides, emergency call stations, the UC Davis WarnMe system and the annual Campus Lighting Safety Walk (where
students, police and facilities personnel work in teams across campus to identify lighting deficiencies so that they can be enhanced or repaired) are among the many programs designed to keep the campus safe.
Under the guidance of UC Davis’ new police chief, Joseph A. Farrow, the department is undergoing accreditation through the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). This is a nationally recognized set of benchmarks for measuring safety and security policies and practices. This formal, systematic review ensures that procedures are documented and staff is given clear guidance. The accreditation allows for continuous self-assessment of process and function to meet the safety and security needs of the campus community. All officers are also receiving the most advanced training in de-escalation tactics and communications techniques to defuse tense situations before they become a safety threat to the community, among other trainings that far exceed the minimum standards set nationally by Peace Officer Standards and Training.
Chief Farrow and his team are also planning for advanced training around mental health response, and are launching a campus security task force to develop a five-year plan for the university.
Kimberly Hale is with UC Davis News and Media Relations