If you’ve checked your email in the past hour, you’ll have noticed a fresh, warm email about the retirement of Dave Meyer sitting in your inbox. Yes, you read that correctly: after 33 years of working for Wesleyan’s Office of Public Safety (seven of which were spent as its director), Mr. Meyer will be saying goodbye to Wes.
I wish to inform you that David Meyer, director of Public Safety, has announced that he will retire from Wesleyan effective June 30, 2013.
Dave has been a Wesleyan employee for 33 years and has held every position within the Office of Public Safety from officer to director. He oversaw the Commencement visit of presidential candidate Barack Obama to Wesleyan, and he has guided Public Safety through many other campus events – ranging from the most difficult and tragic to logistically challenging storms to visits from dignitaries and celebrities.
Dave is secretary of the Northeast College and University Security Association and is president of the Connecticut chapter of the International College Law Enforcement Association. For the past six years, he has participated in running the Wesleyan Open, a fundraiser for local charities.
Farewell, Dave! I’m sure you’ve been looking forward to one last Foss Hill spring before bidding us adieu.
I never had a plan for this movie. All I knew was that I wanted to make a documentary about Public Safety. After having gotten approval from the organization, my first instinct was to humanize P-Safe, as it is an institution that is generally maligned by the student body. A wave of on-campus assaults had just occurred within a single week, and I was interested to discover what P-Safe was doing to handle the situation and protect students. But the alerts P-Safe had sent out described the suspects as “African-American” and “male,” and unbeknownst to me at the time, these email alerts were met with a slew of racial hatred on Wesleyan’s Anonymous Confession Board. It was then revealed that a P-Safe officer had allegedly assaulted a black Wesleyan student. A week later, a forum on student diversity and equality was held in Wesleyan’s Beckham Hall.
These conflicts and contradictions form the basis of Billinkoff’s film, which largely speaks for itself. It’s only twelve minutes, so watch it after the jump.
Yesterday, John Meerts, Wesleyan’s VP for Finance and Administration, sent an all-campus email with some sobering news, informing the community that an officer with Wesleyan’s Public Safety Department had been arrested for theft.
I spoke with Dave Meyer, Director of Public Safety, yesterday afternoon to clarify the situation, though our conversation was limited by the ongoing criminal investigation.
Meyer reported that he received information before Christmas regarding the thefts. Coordinating with the Middletown Police Department, Wesleyan began an investigation within two days that resulted in the recovery of a number of stolen items, at which point Wesleyan again contacted the police to have the individual arrested. The stolen items themselves—reported to be electronics and cameras—have so far consisted solely of administrative equipment, though there is the possibility that student property may be among the as-yet-unidentified possessions.
Declining to discuss the particulars of the tip or the discovery of the stolen material, Meyer stated that though the investigation was conducted internally, the school worked closely with the police department throughout.
Fear not, Wesleyan. The deer head that appeared on the Church Street stop sign (in between Exley and Clark) two nights ago is taxidermic and not a “fresh deer head.” The origins of the stuffed deer are still unknown. It is currently in the possession of the Middletown Police, after being put into a doggie bag “like leftover brisket.”
P-Safe Director Dave Meyer tells it like it is: “It appears to have been a stuffed deer head. Someone put it on the stop sign in the middle of the street. The cops were alerted and picked it up. I don’t really know much about it.”
“All I can tell you is that the deer head is not real,” a different P-Safe officer told me over the phone. “Since it was on a stop sign in the middle of the street, the deer head is now in possession of the Middletown Police.” Whether a taxidermied deer qualifies as “real” or “not real” is up to you.
The appearance of the deer head (let’s call it Bambi) has resulted in a large amount of traffic for Wesleying—over 2,000 hits in less than 12 hours. Like other Wesleyan students, I feel that the only thing I can really say in a bizarre situation like this is keep Wes weird.
Following public comments by President Roth and the WSA, the discussion surrounding Monday night’s forum on race and diversity continues around campus—in online comments, in blog posts, but most of all in personal conversations I’ve overheard (or took part in) over the past few days.
If you missed the forum and still aren’t sure what all of the talk is about, Ben Doernberg ’13 (who livestreamed the event on Monday) has taken the liberty of consolidating his footage into one master YouTube video. It’s long (the forum began at 7:30 and continued well past 10 pm), and the video quality isn’t ideal, but you should easily be able to make out what’s being said. And you should watch it, too. Three hours is daunting, so split it into segments. Let the audio play while you’re doing work. Listen to it on your iPhone while running. But listen.
As one of the students on the panel remarks about thirty minutes in, “These are discussions that we must have, and not discussions that are silenced.”