First task force meeting concerning University Police interaction draws 11 speakers

Update: April 15, 3:19 p.m.

An official university task force formed earlier this month to seek input on “interactions and experiences” with university police held its first of two open meetings Tuesday afternoon.All Students, faculty and staff were able to sign up prior to the meeting, and 11 people who had signed up spoke. 

Each open meeting has 24 time slots for brief statements. 

The task force is co-chaired by Peter Pober, Chair of the Faculty Senate and Rose Pascarell, Associate Vice President for University Life.

According to Pober the meeting was “extremely professional” and students very were respectful. Pober also said he was “extremely pleased” with the meeting.

In addition to the task force, Chief of Staff Tom Hennessey announced in his e-mail to Mason that the university has hired Tomlinson Strategies, LLC, an external consulting firm specializing in institutional safety, security assessments and law enforcement issues, to “review the police policies and procedures that led to the arrest on a felony chare of student Abdirashid Dahir earlier this month.”

The task force is scheduled to meet with resident advisors Thursday and will hear from more students, faculty and staff in their next meeting on April 20.

At the time of publication, six people have signed up to speak. Interested persons can sign up to speak here.

"Our goal is to hear as many voices as we can during the time period allowed. So far, mostly students have signed up to speak, but we encourage faculty and staff to add their voices," co-chairs Rose Pascarell and Peter Pober said in a recent Mason Gazette interview.

The task force will also continue to accept written statements of up to 1,000 words in length at There is no “e” at the end of the address.

Following the April 20 meeting, the task force will submit an interim status report to President Merten in May and then a final report with outcomes and recommendations to Merten in mid-June.


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