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Students unhappy with campus safety

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Concern for the safety of college students is a growing national concern in light of recent incidents and tragedies on college campuses and Alabama State University students share that concern.

“With everything going on campus now, I do not feel 100 percent safe on campus,” said Olivia Price, a junior biomedical engineering major, as she expressed her feelings about the general campus climate during late evening hours.

Price explained that her unease is a result of disparities in the enforcement of campus security measures.

“I only know of one officer that requires all of us in the car to show our IDs when we go through the checkpoint at night,” Price said. “There is only one out of however many they have on staff.”

The checkpoint is supposed to act as a way of making sure that only people who are authorized to drive onto campus grounds at night, but without officer cohesion, it does little to assure students of their safety.

Sophomore music education major Cheyenne Gibson is also concerned about campus security consistency. According to Gibson, “there is a “50/50” chance that the officers are at the checkpoint” adding that there seems to be no definitive measure of enforcement among the security staff.

“It’s frustrating because there isn’t any consistency,” Gibson said. “There are three types of police officers at the checkpoint: the one that isn’t there, the one that is there, but doesn’t care, and the one that is there and is strict. There doesn’t seem to be a standard or consistency when it comes to how involved our officers are at the checkpoint.”

Junior communications major Amber Woodie made it a point to highlight further discrepancies within the administration of security measures at the checkpoint.

“When they are there, they don’t let food delivery people on campus, but they’ll let a Uber driver on campus,” Woodie said. “What’s the difference? Anyone could pretend to be an Uber driver just like anyone could pretend to be delivering food. I feel like that if you’re going to have a checkpoint, you need to have the same energy all over campus at all the different openings.”

Besides securing the checkpoints, campus security blocks other entrances onto campus to control the flow of incoming car traffic.

“They block off certain entrances on campus that are open during the daytime with makeshift blockades, gates, and other stuff, but I’ve seen people move them to drive on campus,” Woodie said. “In reality, they’re just a hassle for the students. If anybody wants to walk onto campus and cause a problem or any harm to us, they can. It’s not impossible to walk on this campus. There are other ways to get on campus besides the checkpoint.”

Zabril Rivers, a senior music performance major, said that officers need to make fewer assumptions about students and familiarize themselves with the students instead.

“They treat the [students] on campus like criminals,” Rivers said. “They treat us as if we are not paying students. We attend classes here and we should be treated with an appropriate level of respect. They need to do something to get to know us. In that way, they won’t see us as little bad kids or delinquents.”

Junior communications major Lorenzo Charles explained that it’s hard to discuss campus security without some degree of unfairness to officers.

“People are biased when it comes to security,” Charles said. “Whenever we have the security we need, people complain about cops being everywhere, but when we have less security, people get robbed. We need more security that will focus on their job and not just harass the students. The best thing that we could hope to do is have our campus gated. That way you could only get in with a student ID.”

Charles continued.

“That would keep a lot of people out. We need to fence our university completely in. It’s a community, it needs to be a gated community. We are the students, the rightful residents to this community, we live here, study here, and work here so our community needs to be safe.”

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The Student News Site of Alabama State University
Students unhappy with campus safety