Students learned how to deal with police confrontation last Tuesday in an event sponsored by the Graduate Student Legal Aid Office in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union.
The event is just one of three this entire week called “Know Your Rights Week.”
Guest speaker Attorney William Salmond spoke in front of about 20 students as he suggested how to handle police confrontation.
“He really knows what’s going on right now with College Park students because he helps them all the time, which is why we chose him to come in because he is the best resource,” said student legal assistant and office manager Sarah Grabowski.
Salmond spoke about specific issues students encounter with police, such as in dormitories and vehicles.
In a dorm, students mostly deal with alcohol possession issues. Salmond recommended students keep doors closed while cautiously cooperating with police orders in order to avoid further charges during any incident.
When being pulled over by a cop, Salmond explains that very often campus police are looking to find more ways to cite a student, such as fictitious licenses. Many times students keep their fictitious license behind their real one, which cops are more attentive to looking for now. Salmond advises monitoring how long a police officer takes to write up a simple citation.
One of the student defenders in the Undergraduate Student Legal Aid Office explained how their help within the system works.
“The attorney in the office has interns that help with actual legal matters. Then the police in College Park let the office know if a student is in trouble at the university, and I and the other interns and the attorney work together to help the student,” said Laurel Fresquez, a senior Classics and Communications double major.
William Salmond started the legal office on campus in 1976. Students wanted to create their own campus government association, but needed an attorney who could advocate for them. He has been involved in the legal concerns of students at the University for nearly 40 years.
There is one more event happening this week – about dealing with student conduct and sexual misconduct in relevance to university policies – which will occur today.