The play’s the thing for the Police Student Advisory Council.
The next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the EUC Auditorium, and the campus community is invited to attend. In what will be the 9th meeting since the council was formed in 2015, the students and officers will use improvisation games and facilitated conversations to make connections and build understanding. Games like “Zip, Zap, Zop!” Dr. Know-it-all” or “Family Album,” draw the students and officers together in creating a safe and trusting UNCG community.
The Police Student Advisory Council, led by Dr. Omar Ali, has hosted three workshops each semester and different officers attend as their shifts allow. Council member and Ph.D student Domonique Edwards praised the value of holding the workshops regularly. “There is more contact and better relations,” she said. “Play and improv are powerful tools for building new kinds of relationships. It creates connectivity and a sense of community.”
UNCG’s Police Chief Paul Lester, who has been very supportive of the council, says the officers enjoy the meetings as “an opportunity to have fun with the students and address some important issues at the same time.”
In addition to the council meetings, students have other opportunities to connect with UNCG Police. This year officers helped students move into their dorm rooms, often hauling the heaviest loads, to make their first interactions with UNCG Police positive. They also started ‘Cops in the Caf’ where, several times each month, officers make it a point to sit down with students for lunch or dinner in Fountain View.
The council has a table in the EUC three days leading up to the workshops, where they welcome students to drop by and write down questions they have for UNCG police officers. As Dr. Ali, who facilitates the workshops, said, “In modest but important ways, we’re creating positive spaces and building a community where all of us can continue to grow.”
By Susan Kirby-Smith