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University Offers 'Safe Space' For People Upset By RNC

Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland is offering a "safe space" for those who are upset by the presence of the Republican National Convention and recent unrest related to police shootings.

The campus news site stated on July 11:

Last week’s tragedies have horrified us all and raised profound questions for our country. Amid our shock and grief, we also recognize that our city soon will host the Republican National Convention (RNC), an event that is expected to draw dozens of protests -- and could see a significant degree of conflict.

Just as recent events prompted the city of Cleveland to reassess its security plans, so too has the university. After extensive consultation among our leadership team and discussions in last week’s open forums, we have decided that the university will reduce its on-campus operations significantly from Monday, July 18, through the close of the convention Thursday, July 21.

The university goes on to say it will still be offering counseling services:

University Counseling Services will continue to offer walk-in services for students who want to talk with someone about their concerns related to recent events and/or the upcoming convention...

Working in collaboration with the university’s LGBT Center, the Social Justice Institute will host a “safe space” adjacent to its offices (A15C) in the basement of Crawford Hall during the week. The Interreligious Council also will house a safe space for those who want to talk or reflect about their concerns at the Interfaith Plaza...

One source of tension for some at the university is the housing of police and National Guardsmen who are working the RNC. The university asked students living in dorms to live off campus while the police are present.

Some students recently protested the temporary closure of the school and the housing of law enforcement in campus dorms, according to Democracy Now.

The university is asking faculty members to come up with ideas to teach students off campus or online, which triggered a response from an unidentified teacher on Belt Magazine: "CWRU is effectively cancelling its classes in order to host 1,700 riot police for the RNC. I fail to see the wisdom in rebranding our mistakes in order to imply otherwise."

Sources: CWRU DailyBelt Magazine, Democracy Now / Photo credit:  Wikimedia Commons

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