SLUG REPORT > There’s a new chief on campus. On Tuesday, Aug. 9, Nader Oweis was officially sworn in as UC Santa Cruz’s new chief of police, at a ceremony attended by many colleagues, family members, and Chancellor George Blumenthal.
Oweis, who is replacing former chief Mickey Aluffi, has been a part of the UC police force since before obtaining a college degree. As an undergraduate at UC Davis, he served as a security guard at community events as part of the Aggie Host Security Program. He stayed in Davis as a UC police officer until being hired to head up the force at UCSC, where he hopes to maintain harmonious relations with the campus.
“We can only keep the community safe with the help of this community, and the only way to get their help is to reach out and engage with them,” Oweis said in an Aug. 10 UCSC press release. “To win people over, you have to be calm. If you come across as a jerk, or in a manner that is too strong, you may not earn their respect.”
Oweis brings with him the personal experience of being a Palestinian-American, a background he thinks lends him an understanding that is useful as a police officer.
This perspective includes knowing what it’s like to be singled out because of one’s appearance, which happened to Oweis in airports after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Oweis emphasized that rather than let this bother him, he kept his composure, but still, the incidents stayed with him.
I figured I would, eventually, be able to get through and move on,” he reasoned. “In some sense, it makes me even more fair because I have another perspective.”