Members of the Student Worker Coalition at the University of Washington in Seattle say that campus police "spied" on their April 8th meeting to discuss an upcoming custodian strike.
Students realized their activist gathering had been "infiltrated" after an undercover officer of UWPD showed up to their meeting. Though the officer actively participated in the meeting, students later discovered her on campus in uniform.
Many upset students came to the conclusion that UW had something to do with this act of espionage by the police department, but administrators like Eric Godfrey, UW's vice provost of student life, have denied their suspicions. Godfrey says the episode was never authorized by the university and went against UW's mission.
The Daily, UW's student newspaper, quotes Godfrey's statement:
"I think it's an outstanding police department, but this incident was out of character, not good judgment, and not acceptable, and not a tactic that we employ on this campus," Godfrey said. "... It will not happen again."
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington contacted Godfrey after hearing reports of the incident, urging the school to issue a statement against the incident.
The SWC's student activists remain upset. They say this was merely one of a series of efforts that have been made to silence their organization, and that these statements made by the administration are not enough to reestablish their trust.
Should campus police forces ever resort to "spy" tactics? Or is that a bit extreme? Weigh in below.
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