Public Safety increases security campus-wide
An exit lift gate and restrictions on entering campus through Farinella Gate have been implemented by Public Safety and Security in response to the alleged on-campus sexual assault that was reported by a University student on Nov. 17.
“These are traffic control devices. They help us channel and control the flow of vehicles entering and leaving campus and force interaction with our personnel,” Gary Christie, assistant director of Public Safety and Security, said. “Lift gates are also a great way to slow cars down as are the speed bumps.”
Although the new entrance and exit procedures are for controlling traffic, according to Christie, other procedures have been implemented to improve the feeling of collective safety on the University’s campus.
“We have added additional personnel at the front gate and are stopping each car without a parking decal as they enter campus,” Christie said. “This new procedure will remain in effect until further notice.”
Christie said this program would be re-evaluated for effectiveness and sustainability.
According to Christie, the guard booths are in place for traffic control, and they are not an “effective means” for keeping people from campus.
“They were never designed for that,” he said.
However, guard coverage has been increased at the various pedestrian gates around campus.
Christie also said new security procedures are being discussed such as the increase of video surveillance on and off-campus. A survey to assess the quality of campus lighting has been completed as well.
According to Christie, the impact of the new procedures cannot be accurately assessed since campus just reopened from Thanksgiving break on Monday.
Josh Meyer, a junior liberal studies major and one of the organizers of the Nov. 22 student walkout to the Green, is “appreciative” of the changes made by Public Safety.
“This is a concrete first step. My only concern is how long this will last. After the shooting earlier this semester security went up, but a week later it was back to normal,” Meyer said. “We want permanence. Also, we want to know what is being done. If we get an e-mail saying Seton Hall has done x, y and z to improve security, then permanence is expected.”
Meyer also feels safety should be incorporated into students’ curriculum since all students are required to take University Life freshmen year.
“Public safety is a key aspect of that [university life],” he said.
Meyer was beaten by two male individuals during his walk to Ivy Hill on Eder Terrace and Wilden Place last fall semester, as reported in the Oct. 8, 2009, edition of The Setonian.
According to Meyer, after his attack, he voiced concerns to “multiple members of the faculty, administrators, deans and the department of public safety.”
“So far, I have seen nothing permanent besides extended CASE van hours,” Meyer said.
Kayleigh Ellison, a freshman diplomacy and anthropology major, is indifferent about the new security procedures.
“I can’t say I feel too much of anything about these ‘upgraded security procedures’ because I don’t see the point of the exit lift gate, and in my opinion, driving by the security booth is only a safety precaution after 11, I believe, when they actually filter who they let in,” Ellison said.
Ellison, who participated in the student walkout, said she usually feels safe because she believes in “safety in numbers” and usually travels in groups.
“However, after certain events on and off campus this year there were times when I was a little on edge walking off campus even in groups,” Ellison said. “It isn’t what I expected when I decided on the Hall, but I think there are safety issues on every campus.”
According to Christie, Public Safety constantly evaluates their security programs.
“Given the success of the programs that are in place, we feel that we have been doing an effective job,” Christie said.
According to Meyer, the safety problems are not anything new.
“Safety has always been an issue and always will be,” Meyer said. “We aren’t in exactly the best neighborhood.”
Jessica Sutcliffe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.