Low student turnout for Coffee with the Chief

Portland State Campus Public Safety Chief Phillip Zerzan is available for informal meetings with students, faculty or staff through the Coffee With The Chief series.

The series is held every other Thursday at Parkway North, on the first floor of Smith Memorial Student Union Building from 10–11 a.m. The next session will take place on Oct. 16.

“Only about 10 students have come since we started doing this May 1 of last year,” Chief Zerzan said.

However, he anticipates that student interest may increase as the discussion continues on the PSU Board of Trustee’s upcoming vote to introduce a sworn police force to the PSU campus.

“For some students, it appears that this has been a very short timeline,” he said. “For me, it’s not a short timeline. I’ve been involved in these discussions since I got here, and it’s something that the university has been discussing since 1996.”

Chief Zerzan said that many current students are unaware that the university has reached out for student input for the past several years.

“Every year we have new students, [and a] new student government,” he said. “You can start the conversation over every year; it’s a long process.”

He also recognized that the university will likely have to move forward without complete agreement on this issue.

“Two years ago we had extensive involvement with ASPSU: they conducted their own poll, and after a year, we realized that there isn’t going to be consensus,” said Zerzan. “I don’t think that that is going to change. I don’t think there will ever be complete consensus on this issue.”