Blogs

Rough sleeping ban scrapped

first_imgOxford City Council has removed the prohibition of rough sleeping from their proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), meaning that it will not become a criminal offence. The inclusion of a prohibitionof rough sleeping in the PSPO was part of a measure to tackle anti-social behaviour in Oxford’s city centre. However, the Oxford city council confirmed in a statement on 18th  that this section has been removed from the proposal, stating, “The draft proposals to deal with pidgeon nuisance and with rough sleepers who have been provided with indoor accommodation but fail to use it have not been included in the recommendations to the CEB.“In both cases, the consultation process indicated that an Order of this type was not likely to be the most effective way of tackling these issues.”This change has been welcomd by On Your Doorstep (OYD), OUSU’s homelessness action group. Freya Turner, chairman of OYD, commented on the result, telling Cherwell, “We at OYD are very pleased that Oxford City Council has listened to our concerns and those of the sector, and has excluded rough sleeping from the PSPO.“This isbecause activism brought into relief the fact that rough sleeping, which is a product of unfortunate circumstances, should not be lumped together with practices likefeeding pidgeons, which is behaviour that anyone can choose to refrain from.“Moreover, the PSPO as a piece of legislation was clearly not designed for dealing with rough sleeping, because it was restricted to a particular area – the city centre – and therefore it would have just displaced the homeless people further out of the city, which is not a constructive way to help them and would have made it harder for services to reach them.”OYD began their campaign against the proposed prohibition on rough sleeping two months ago with a petition on change.org. The petition gathered significant momentum, gaining 72,280 signatures by the time the Council changed its plans. OYD successfully passed a motion hrough OUSU securing OUSU support for the group’s stance on the PSPO. Last week also saw OYD campaigning on Cornmarket Street against the criminalisation of rough sleeping.The Oxford City Council responded to OYD’s opposition in late April, releasing a statement in response to the petition, assuring people, “The consultation process has been widely supported and before any decision is taken, the Council will be looking closely at what residents, businesses and visitors have said.”Council Leader Bob Price commented, “The propoal has been developed by the Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour team in response to complaints from city centre traders, residents and visitors about a range of anti-social and nuisance behaviour.“it seeks to provide a clear framework for city centre activities which will maintain the vibrant and active character that we enjoy throughout the year, while dealing efectively with behaviours that could damage the quality of the city centre experience for shopping, eating and entertainment. It will rprovide legal powers for the first time to tackl persistant offenders who cause a nuisance.”last_img read more

Provost creates task force to reconsider campus symbols

first_imgMany students and organizations have called on the University to change the name of Von KleinSmid Center — a building named after USC’s fifth president, Rufus B. Von KleinSmid, an active member of the eugenics movement who advocated for forced sterilization practices. “Last spring, USG passed a resolution about changing the name of [Von KleinSmid Center] and in conjunction with that over the summer, myself and Emmett wrote a resolution that the GSG executive board put out about … the history of racism on campus,” said Quinn Anex-Ries, GSG’s director of diversity and equity advocacy. “[We] both worked together to result in the creation of the University Task Force.” “This has been part of a national movement … for a number of institutions like ourselves, including Michigan, Yale, Princeton, Harvard and Stanford,” Carry told the Daily Trojan. “They have done exactly what we are getting ready to do … through whatever [ways] it came to their attention … so University’s had to create a process to interrogate this.” Provost Michael Quick announced the creation of a Task Force on University Nomenclature Monday. The group will be responsible for defining a set of principles and processes for faculty, staff and students to submit concerns regarding campus building names, symbols and monuments, according to a memo sent to the USC community. Though the official Task Force was announced Monday, the Undergraduate and Graduate student governments previously passed resolutions in requesting the administration to acknowledge USC’s troubled history and to facilitate open discussions to reexamine building names. Ebadi said she hopes the task force will also shed light on historical injustice at the University. “Tough conversations must be had on the impact of the various monuments and symbols that we administer across campus, but the work cannot stop at mere conversations,” Ebadi wrote in an email to the Daily Trojan. “A mission statement praising equity and diversity ultimately loses its value if an administration cannot effectively implement action to change its own harmful practices.” Shaghayegh Ebadi, co-chief diversity director of USG, said the task force is a necessary step toward increasing support for marginalized communities on campus. Carry said the decision to create the task force comes on the heels of a national movement across many American universities to rethink the names of campus landmarks that may threaten certain populations. While the task force does not deal with a particular building or name, its members will help develop a way for the USC community to voice their concerns regarding campus nomenclature. The Task Force comprises nine architecture, design, public policy, philosophy, history and law professors, as well as three undergraduate and two graduate students. center_img “Let me emphasize, this task force will not end in a result,” Carry said. “There will not be any specific name changes as a result of this task force, but what will be crystal clear is a step by step sequence of how members in our community … can submit a request for that level of interrogation.” “The principles should be broad enough to be applied to a variety of circumstances rather than tailored to a particular issue or controversy, and the Task Force should not deal with any particular issue or controversy,” Quick wrote. “The Task Force should weigh all relevant considerations and develop criteria for making such decisions.” Carry said the task force is meant to outline the sequence of steps students, faculty and staff can take to help the University address change. “As we grow as a university community and as we grow as a nation, we are having important conversations about the names of certain buildings, monuments and symbols,” Quick wrote. “Many of these from our past may evoke views and practices that we no longer support and may cause pain for members of our community.” Anex-Ries said he is pleased with the diversity of voices represented on the task force. “This task force must embody a progressive mission to shed light on USC’s … cultural hegemony that continue to harm our marginalized student communities,” Ebadi wrote. “New naming policies must be developed to address these inequities alongside formative solutions and help guide the University into an age of true commitment to diversity and inclusion.” Paula Cannon, a professor of molecular microbiology and former president of the Academic Senate and Ainsley Carry, vice president of Student Affairs, will lead the task force. “The University itself needs a systemized way of changing things,” Anex-Ries said. “More specifically, [the Task Force] allows for us to create the framework to have more complex conversations across the University about why it is even important to consider why something is named.” “I definitely think [the task force] is a group that will definitely have very spirited debate,” Anex-Ries said. “Of course, I would always love to see more students on the task force, but for USC and for previous instances, I actually am impressed with the breadth of people they have been able to put on the task force.” last_img read more