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How Safe is Our Campus?

By Julian Wilson
Assistant Opinions Editor

A Public Safety official formerly occupied the security booth outside of the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library. Photo courtesy of Janisha Sanford
A Public Safety official formerly occupied the security booth outside of the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library. Photo courtesy of Janisha Sanford

Safety isn’t a word we take for granted. It is a continuous notion we always keep in the back of our minds, until we feel the need to pose the question: are we safe where we are right now?

An article by Aimee Lee Ball from The New York Times, entitled, “Students Fear Venturing Out Alone at Night on Campus,” published July 20, 2012, reflects some of the worries and distress surrounding students and their campus safety.

Some of these worries and fears include “news of shootings and assaults,” which sends signals of fear “through students, parents and administrators,” according to Lee Ball. Major actions in safety precaution took place after the Virginia Tech shooting massacre of 2007. The incident had such a huge impact that alerts of potential danger became normality. The University of Ohio State received 20 danger alerts in 2011.

Sara Rosenberg, a student from Ohio State University, took the chance to “organize her friends into a posse of self-protection.” Rosenberg had no other ulterior motive other than protecting her friends — and herself. “We always make sure we have somebody to walk with after dark,” Rosenberg said.

Not only that, Rosenberg also “signed up for a self-defense class and became a connoisseur of mace dispensers.” Being aware of the possibilities of danger at all times, Rosenberg expressed, “You have to realize that you’re on a big campus — so big that we have our own zip code — and the city is around it. Things can happen.”

Even though it’s true that things can happen at any given moment, should students be wary of their own college campuses? What about LIU Post campus?

“Of course LIU Post is safe,” said Mr. Rapess, a representative for Public Safety on campus. He spotlighted the decency of Post students and put emphasis on the way they carry themselves. Neither Mr. Rapess, nor any other Public Safety official, would answer any further questions.

Given the Public Safety response, students critique on the matter still varies.

Senior Broadcasting major Tom Finn thinks that Post is in the green light when it comes to safety. “I think Post, for the most part, has a relatively safe campus because it’s located in a particularly good area of Long Island,” Finn stated. Are there any areas on campus that have potential to be dangerous? Finn thought so. “There are a few areas on campus particularly. Chipmunk Trail or the back parking-lot near Chipmunk Trail could pose as potentially dangerous areas, if a person was walking to their car alone late at night,” he said.

Senior Sociology major Nathalie Souffrant does not think that Post is as safe as it can be. “Anyone can get on campus with no questions asked. There isn’t any ID checks or public safety checking,” she stated.

With claims from both sides of the coin, what do Souffrant and Finn suggest for ways to make Post truly as safe as it can be?

“To make the campus safer, I think cameras in all the parking lots would be beneficial. Not only for safety, but they could help clear up the various fender benders that occur each school year,” Finn said.

Souffrant added, “I think that Post should provide more shuttles for the commuter students. Those who live in areas such as Hicksville, Hempstead, and Garden City, for example, to make sure they reach their destinations safely.”

Taking into account research and student opinions, I personally believe that LIU Post has a safe community. Although, in my opinion, there are also multiple ways that our university can adapt in order to make changes for the better. Not only its security as an institution, but also the safety of its students. I agree with Souffrant that the addition of more shuttles could prove as a positive change. I also agree with Finn that more cameras could help boost the stability of security, here at LIU Post.

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