New position does not equal safety

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Preach student safety but do something to help.

With the introduction of a new college position for emergency risk management, we hope to see real change.

The blue emergency call boxes aren’t reliable; a number of them do not work.

Unlit parking lots and dark spaces on campus are the norm for students who attend evening classes.

But, hey, let’s assume this new position brings peace to all of these situations. Call boxes work and the whole campus is well lit at night. Will we ever feel safe enough?

Every week, we receive emails reporting theft, burglary and assault on or around campus.

Women walk around with pepper spray clasped to their backpacks and car keys embedded between their fingers on the way to the parking lot.

So what — if anything — will a risk management person do to help students feel safer internally?

The director and new hire say student safety is the No. 1 priority, but what exactly are they referring to?

Wasting time performing drills that involve walking 100 feet away from buildings isn’t ideal. Most students would probably hit the ground running if a real emergency were to occur.

Or like the boy who cried wolf, couldn’t all those drills make us less responsive in an actual emergency?

Isn’t there something else we can do that would be more helpful?

For example, why don’t we offer more self-defense classes?

Right now, there is only one self-defense class at this college at 9:25 a.m. on Monday and Wednesday. But only one section.

Why not offer short workshops directed at a particular technique?

We hope the coordinator of college risk management will focus more on real areas of concern and be willing to listen to suggestions.

We don’t need another district initiative that looks good in a report but has little to do with our reality.


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