Slavery Free Campus Project Implementation
Last semester I was enrolled in Dr. Dean’s Human Trafficking class, as well as working for the research lab. At the end of the semester, our final project was to make Millikin a slavery free campus as a class. This project was one I was very excited for since Dr. Dean told us about it in the beginning of the semester. To start the project, our class began to brainstorm about the different groups on our campus that may be unknowingly contributing to slavery. Once we had these groups, apparel, food service, human resources, and administration, we each signed up for the group that we wanted to investigate.
I signed up for the administration group, and we began to brainstorm who we should speak with on our campus. We used the University of Nottingham’s “The Slavery-Free Campus: A blueprint for university action against modern slavery” to begin our brainstorming. We decided that the most effective way to do this project would be to schedule interviews the head of Public Safety, the director of Campus Life, and the provost. Once we decided who we would be contacting, we used the blueprint previously mentioned to begin thinking about the specific questions we should ask each group. We then emailed each of the three individuals mentioned above to schedule meetings. Due to availability reasons, our group was only able to set up meetings with the head of Public Safety and the director of Campus Life. We prepared for our meeting with Public Safety by coming with not only the questions we had, but with informational handouts to give to the officers about how public safety officers can keep university students safe. He graciously took these handouts and informed us that he was willing to implement whatever change possible to ensure the officers are well educated and to keep our students safe.
We prepared for our meeting with the director of Campus Life in a similar fashion, by preparing questions and having an informational handout ready. However, our preparation proved unnecessary when the director failed to attend our scheduled meeting. Though he assured us he would still respond to our questions via email, he has yet to respond to the email we sent weeks ago. Though I do believe our group caused real change in the Public Safety office regarding the education and preparedness of the officers, I was disappointed to see the lack of dedication from our campus staff to making Millikin a slavery free campus.