Committee to review events of Sept. 23, hope to report to campus by end of semester

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President Brian Casey announced an Independent Review Panel this Tuesday which is set to examine the events of Sept. 23 and report their findings back to the university.

The idea of a third party committee arose from conversations with the mayor, police departments and members of the community. Casey had also mentioned it at the October faculty meeting and in an earlier email.

“I had multiple meetings with the mayor and police to have all sides agree to do this,” he said.

The third party committee, intentionally formed by Casey, consists of Myra Selby, Joe Slash and Troy Riggs. He reached out to people in the Indianapolis/Indiana community, people on campus sent names and he talked with board members and people at other universities. 

“I wanted to generate a long list of people,” said Casey during a phone interview on Thursday.

Casey detailed a number of criteria each member embodies. They have done work in the area of civil rights, community work or police work, so they know that area; they are immediately recognized as people of considerable success and ability; they are independent from both Greencastle and DePauw University.

Selby, Slash and Riggs have been given a specific charge by Casey to address a number of topics: preparedness of the university and city officials, how the roles and responsibilities of the offices and agencies were understood/can be better clarified in the future, internal communication both formal and informal from the university/city, how the university’s response affected student feelings of safety and security and equality of treatment. 

The committee will also consider the future, “How might DePauw and the City of Greencastle and its offices continue to develop open lines of communications and jointly-understood priorities and practices to develop increased trust in service of creating a safe and secure community?"

They are aiming to have their report by the end of the semester. 

“The findings will be made available to the city and to the university and then I will make them public,” said Casey.

The panel at this point has had one preliminary meeting to introduce themselves to each other and accomplish basic blocking. 

“They have to do a lot of review,” said Casey. "There’s a lot of information about that day, about policies.”

There are also plans in the works to have a forum for the community to have the opportunity to talk to Selby, Slash and Riggs. The review panel is just one effort to work on the campus, inclusion and the nature of diversity on DePauw’s campus. Casey also has additional steps in the works that he will announce early next week.

“This is not it,” he said. “This is just one part of a multi-part effort to work on diversity and inclusion on this campus.”