Public safety at The Evergreen State College is topic of Senate work session

OLYMPIA – Over-the-top student protests, vandalism, threats of violence, and other public safety concerns are prompting an inquiry by the Senate Law and Justice Committee into recent events at The Evergreen State College in Olympia.

The committee will hold a work session on campus safety Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Senate Hearing Room 4, John A. Cherberg Building, Capitol Campus, Olympia.

Among those who will testify is Professor Bret Weinstein, who was forced to hold classes off-campus last month when law enforcement officers advised they could not guarantee his safety if he remained at the school. Also scheduled to appear are:

  • Evergreen President George Bridges,
  • Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste,
  • Thurston County Chief Deputy Sheriff Dave Pearsall,
  • Mike Paros, professor of biology and agriculture at The Evergreen State College, and
  • Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, professor of constitutional law at Central Washington University.

“Recent events at The Evergreen State College have raised concerns nationwide,” said Senate Law and Justice Chair Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley. “Our inquiry will be more narrowly focused, about the public safety challenges this unrest has created.”

The Evergreen campus was shut down for three days this month after threats of violence followed confrontations between students, faculty and administrators. Campus operations were suspended again today for another protest. Tuesday’s work session will attempt to establish facts, assess whether campus authorities and law enforcement agencies have responded effectively, and determine costs to taxpayers.

The work session will be televised live on TVW, Washington’s public affairs television network, and will be streamed online at