A Proposition to Public Safety to Ramp Up Comfort on Campus
By Christopher Scott
Not all students feel safe on campus at night, and while campus security ensures CSI is safe, public safety needs to have more of a presence so students that are uncomfortable know that they’re safe.
Nobody wants to feel threatened at college, but with school shootings constantly making national headlines, can you really blame students for feeling unsafe?
Recently, a guest at the resident halls was arrested for threatening to shoot up the school on Facebook. While the crisis was avoided on our campus, Winston-Salem State University could not avoid tragedy, as gunfire on November 1 resulted in the death of a 19 year old student.
Now that our school was threatened, students are a little more cautious at night because they do not feel safe.
“If anybody doesn’t feel safe, they can call Public safety, and we can give them a ride,” said Director of Public Safety Robert “Bob” Wilson. “Campus is safe as far as crime. We have officers working at all times.”
One student that does call is Jackie Hemmey, a senior. “I mean, I’m not that comfortable with it, so I don’t take classes at night,” she said. “It’s too dark and it makes me uncomfortable. I actually have a security guard escort me to my car because I’m that scared.”
This is alarming.
According to Wilson, though there’s more staff working during the day, there’s “still an adequate number to patrol the campus.”
While there may be an “adequate number,” students should still feel their presence at night.
“I’m glad security is there, but I don’t visibly see them at night necessarily,” said Samantha Scott, a senior at CSI.
Wilson claims it’s more difficult to see public safety at night because it’s dark, but he ensures that students are safe.
“Any concern, contact us directly. I wanna make sure we are visible. We aim to improve, not to be perfect,” Wilson said. He also implores that students to go to the blue emergency lights if they don’t feel safe.
There are sixty-six of these blue emergency lights on campus. They are meant to notify public safety immediately of your location, and allows you to speak to an officer instantly, once you press the button.
“Within a minute or two, we can have officers,” said Wilson.
Hold on, a “minute or two?”
So much can happen in sixty seconds. If a student feels threatened, security should have something more concrete than holding on for a “minute or two.”
Why should anyone have to press one of the blue lights and hope for the best? Off campus, when there’s an emergency, 911 is called and police officers arrive on the scene as soon as possible. But in the event of an emergency on campus, shouldn’t public safety be there in a blink of an eye?
CSI is 204 acres. An acre is about the size of a football field.
I understand staffing one public safety officer per acre may be too costly for the school, but I have a proposition:
There should be at least two officers per car in all six parking lots.
In addition, I suggest having two officers in front of and behind the Campus Center, Library, rec center, and dorms because those areas are popular for students to meet up with one another. Those buildings are also in the middle of the campus, which would make it easier for public safety to be visible to students.
Public Safety has done a great job overall as crime is practically non-existent. However, the staff is dedicated to making all students feel safe, and they want to know what students think they need to improve on.
So if you have any questions or concerns, Director of Public Safety Bob Wilson would like you to contact him at 718-982-2113 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.