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Sergio Oliva, the face of Seton Hall Safety

If your car won’t start this winter, you get locked out of your vehicle, or you find yourself in danger, who ya gonna call? 

For students at Seton Hall University, it’s Sergio Oliva. 

Oliva, Seton Hall’s Director of Public Safety, also oversees parking services, campus I.D., the office of Emergency Management, and Public Safety at the law school. He said he wants more students to know about and take advantage of the University’s security services, which include jump-starting vehicles, assisting people locked out of their cars and escort services. 

“Whether it’s for faculty, staff, or students, we're here to provide a service, whether it’s first-responding or instructional,” Oliva said. 

Seton Hall University has 27 blue light phones spread across campus that are location based. 

According to Oliva, these phones have two different features. One is an emergency feature that calls 911, used if one feels they’re in imminent danger or is concerned for their safety. The second feature is considered “non-emergency,” that is used if one locked themselves out of their car or if they feel unsafe and would like an escort.

“It contacts us immediately,” Oliva said. “We would immediately send a unit to that location.” 

Students, particularly those from out of state, may not take adequate precautions off-campus, Oliva said. 

“The students are not familiar with the surrounding areas,” he said, “and they don't take some of the services we utilize and pretty much become vulnerable, because whether it’s South Orange, New York City, wherever you're from, you should be aware of how to get from Point A to Point B,” Oliva said. 

The campus offers two main transportation options. SHUFLY, which runs on a schedule, similar to public transportation buses. The other is called SafeRide, an on-demand “Uber-type service” where the student uses an app to request a ride. 

As a part of Oliva’s daily routine, he reviews emails, attends meetings and interacts with other senior administrators.

Oliva’s job is 70% paperwork and 30% interacting with students in part through the University’s Rape Aggression Defense, a women’s self-defense course that he instructs. He also teaches the disaster medical operations aspect of the Community Emergency Response Team.

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Oliva has been in the military active duty and the National Guard for ten years. On the weekends, he enjoys mountain biking and trail running and has been doing so for the last 20 years. 

Ankush Patel can be reached at


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