By Olivia Montes
Throughout the course of the 2022 spring semester, members of the Washington College Student Government Association and student body made strides toward further establishing and strengthening the campus’ relationship with the surrounding Chestertown community — particularly with the Chief of the Chestertown Police Department Ron Dixon.
According to The Kent County News, Chief Dixon, upon being sworn in by Chestertown Mayor David Foster on Sept. 29, 2021, said that his goal was to be a “working chief,” and further solidify the connection between the Chestertown and WC campus communities.
Additionally, according to previous Elm coverage, SGA Parliamentarian junior Maegan White said that, after “A Resolution Against Discriminatory Housing Practices in Chestertown Md.” was unanimously passed on Dec. 7, 2021 — which sought to address discriminatory housing practices at the residential complex, Brook Meadow apartments, in the fall of 2020 — she and other students hoped to further connect the College campus with the Chestertown community. This included having Chief Dixon come to campus earlier this semester “to meet with students, hear concerns, and answer questions,” according to a Feb. 28 campus-wide email sent by SGA.
In addition to being given a tour of the College campus, Chief Dixon also further engaged with students, staff, and faculty members over games of cornhole at Martha Washington Square the same day, according to previous Elm coverage.
According to White, Chief Dixon had the opportunity to interact with community members from a wide variety of student-led clubs, organizations, and groups. These included individuals from Black Student Union, Greek Life, athletics, the Peer Sexual Misconduct Advocacy and Response Team, SGA, and Peer Mentors.
“Chief Dixon truly cares about the students on this campus and wants to make sure they feel safe on campus and safe in the Chestertown community,” White said of Chief Dixon’s initial campus visit. “He has assured me that he is committed to continuing to work on the College and CPD relationship.”
It was upon the “great student engagement” with this visit, according to the SGA Minutes from March 3, that the SGA announced additional collaborations between the campus and Chief Dixon.
One of these planned events included a First Responders Kickball Game and Cookout on the Campus Green between the Chestertown Police Department, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company, and Kent & Queen Anne’s Rescue Squad on April 27.
According to SGA Secretary of Service and Community Relations Stephen Hook, he and SGA Secretary of Student Life junior Kamden Richardson, are “committed to improving student relationships with local first responders in an effort to make campus and the wider Chestertown community feel like a safe and welcoming place for WC.”
Both the campus tour and the Kickball Game are “part of a larger plan” between Chief Dixon, Richardson, and himself to further connect WC students, staff, and faculty members with first responders — including the CPD — engage with one another “in a casual, non-emergency setting,” according to Hook.
“Our goal is to begin forming relationships with first responders to increase the bond between campus and Chestertown and increase familiarity with community members,” Hook said. “Simply recognizing a face, knowing a name, or sharing a wave will aid in the SGA’s goal in bridging the gap we see in the relationship with our wider community.”
Elm Archive Photo
Featured Photo Caption: With the success of a previous meet -and-greet with Chief of the Chestertown Police Department Ron Dixon, the Washington College Student Government Association is striving to initiate more events with first responders.