Do You Feel Safe?

default article imageThe University Police Department does its part in keeping our campus safe. Officers patrol on foot and by truck during the day and through the night. However, I can’t help but feel that more security should be enforced at the University.

During the day, officers can be found throughout campus walking around or driving in official police trucks. If a student needs help and can’t find an officer, the Police Department is located next to Woods Theatre and emergency boxes are all over campus. Most students don’t think they have to be cautious during the day because it’s light outside and they feel safe. I beg to differ.

 Several weeks ago, a student told me she was approached by someone on the residential side of campus in the middle of the day. They began to have a casual conversation when he admitted to not being a student at the University and just lived nearby, bored, and wished to kill a little time. Thankfully, he did not seem much of a threat and left campus soon after, but this incident proves how easy it is for anyone to walk in and out of the University at any hour.

At larger schools, gates are located at each parking lot along with safety officers signing people in and checking IDs. The University does not have any gates on any of its parking lots. Adding them will guarantee that anyone who does not belong in the University will not be allowed in. These gates will just add another obstacle in case someone is trying to get in with the intention of causing harm.

Students don’t tend to look over their shoulder during the day, but they should always be a little careful. It is a university’s job to provide students with an education and keep them safe. The University does this but there is always room for improvement.

When nighttime strikes, MUPD can be found almost anywhere on campus, the residential and academic sides. However, I feel most officers are busy looking for students who are drinking illegally. Students who are drinking underage are not going to be strolling around campus, but dangerous predators can be. The MUPD is usually able to recognize students because the University is small. At night, though, it is harder to tell who is a student and who is not.

Officers should be spending less time trying to catch intoxicated students and work on keeping potential dangers outside of the University. Taxis are allowed into the different campus parking lots at any given time and who knows what type of person they could be dropping off? Creating a designated spot for taxis could get rid of this threat.

People who are not from the University do not have to sign into buildings during the day, but at night they do. I like this system because it gives that person’s information just in case it is needed. When signing into a residential building, visitors must provide a type of ID and have a student from the University sign them in. This proves that visitors truly are who they say they are.

Working students usually sign visitors into the residential buildings until about 9:30 pm, and then security officers take their place. I believe that this makes students feel safer. Having one student protect other students can be silly because then no one will know what to do in a threatening situation.

The security guards are trained on how to handle those circumstances. Look at the security guards at the front desks like medieval knights protecting their castle, aka the residential buildings.

The MUPD is on duty at all times to make students feel safer. The University does a good job of enforcing the rules and making sure students follow them. Because the campus is small, people may think that not much security is needed to watch over the whole campus, but they are wrong. There is no such thing as too much security when it comes to keeping students safe.