Changes come in response to stabbing on campus
For 17 years, the Chinook Clubhouse and CU have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship. The Chinook Clubhouse works to provide employment opportunities for those afflicted with mental illness, and since its creation, has been referring temporary employees to CU.
These temporary workers, hired at the University Memorial Center, have held jobs like table busing, cashiering and serving food.
“The relationship has been mostly successful,” UMC Director Carlos Garcia said.
However, the stabbing of freshamn student Michael Knorps has forced CU to reevaluate this relationship. Kenton Drew Astin, 39, and a former Chinook-referred temporary UMC employee, was arrested Monday for allegedly attacking the student.
In the past, the UMC has not required a background check on these temporary workers.
Previously, councilors at Chinook were only responsible for alerting the university if one of the temporary employees had become unstable or had terminated their medications. This will no longer be the case, as CU will now take a more proactive role.
Following CU-Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson’s announcement Monday, background checks will now be required for all employees, both temporary and permanent.
“The UMC will be re-evaluating its relationship with Chinook,” Garcia said.
Clauses in the contracts will have to be re-written and reevaluated, ensuring the safety of the university by preventing those with violent histories to be hired.
“They were quiet, did the job, maybe slowly, but honestly I don’t have any bad experience with them,” Martha Perez said of the Chinook workers. Perez, 49, is a long-time UMC food service staff cashier and trainer.
While the Chinook Clubhouse could not be reached for comment, the mission stated on their Web site reads, “A program dedicated to enhancing the recovery of men and women with mental illness … work is at the heart of our program, driven by the philosophy that it restores a person’s self-respect and independence.”
Contact Campus Press staff writer Taran Volckhausen at email@example.com