The first two weeks of the Harvard graduate student union’s strike resulted in the school being charged $185,000 for security provided by the Cambridge Police Department (CPD).
The bill covers CPD “safety and security support” related to the Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Automobile Workers (HGSU-UAW) strike that took place in early December. The $185,000 bill covers services provided December 3-16, reports the Harvard Crimson. The university requested the additional security from CPD.
During that time period, HGSU-UAW members picketed around campus, held political rallies in Harvard Yard and disrupted the deliveries of packages.
The additional security was intended to keep students, the public and the protestors safe.
Some HGSU-UAW members expressed concerns about the $185,000 price tag for strike security, arguing the school was willing to pay for crowd control but not for higher union wages.
A representative from International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, however, said the fees were not excessive.
Just last month, the University of California (UC) at Berkeley spent $290,000 on security for the November 20 appearance of conservative media pundit and author Ann Coulter.
For several years now, American institutions of higher education have been struggling with how to best manage controversial speakers and events on campus.
At the 2018 Campus Safety Conferences, university public safety officials from around the nation shared their struggles, as well as some solutions that have worked for them in maintaining law and order before, during and after an event. They specifically covered:
- The identities of the controversial groups involved
- What steps to take when an event request is received
- Hosting alternative events
- Event security and safety planning
- Time and place considerations
- Working with other first responders
- Crowd monitoring and control
- Managing the media and the influx of calls
Click here to read the report compiled by Campus Safety on this topic.
Additionally, a commission of UC Berkeley faculty, staff, students and administrators issued a report on managing politically controversial events and protecting free speech. Click here to read the report.
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