Monday, March 12, 2007

So that's what the perp looked like?

Not that this changes my mind about the overall usefulness of student government at our state universities, but UW-Milwaukee's student government managed to do one thing right:

The Student Association of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee almost unanimously approved legislation on Sunday that orders the university to include identifying characteristics like height and race in campus-wide e-mails detailing crimes on or near campus.

But the university spokesman reiterated last week that the official university position is that race in suspect descriptions is inappropriate. The binding power of the legislation on the university could be disputed, although the Student Association legislative affairs director said the student group is poised to take the matter to the Board of Regents if necessary.

The university spokesman said he wanted to wait until after the vote before issuing a response to the legislation. He could not be reached on Sunday night.

The legislation, entitled “Suspect Description Disclosure Act,” states that “any information narrowing the scope of possible suspects is valuable, and…apprehending suspects of crimes on and near campus is in the best interest of students by promoting safety.”

It goes on to order UWM’s office of University Relations to disclose “any and all information received by police, including but not limited to the sex, race, build, and height of the suspect along with age, clothing, and involved weaponry and vehicles of each suspect, about crimes committed on or near campus.”
The legislation still has to be signed by the student government president Samantha Prahl who, according to the article, wants to speak with the administration first. Never a good sign.

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