Public Safety must be improved this semester

We at The Guilfordian are very concerned about the safety issues developing on campus as the semester continues.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Todd Clark told the community on Feb. 1 that someone was stealing catalytic converters from students’ vehicles.

Clark and other members of the administration have yet to publicly announce a plan to deal with this, and students are left to worry about spending hundreds of dollars to fix their cars.

During J-Term, the back parking lot of the North Apartments was not well lit, and the lights remained off until the second week of this semester even though someone had been assaulted in that area in the fall semester of 2014.

These issues, coupled with the continuing lack of leadership in Public Safety, has created uneasiness on campus. The position of director of P-Safe needs to be filled quickly to ensure the safety of our entire community.

When looking at candidates to fill this position, the College should also bear in mind that the director of P-Safe should actively be anti-racist. Students also need to be able to feel comfortable approaching this person if and when they need help.

During this time of change, the priorities of P-Safe should also change to reflect our core values. Many community members feel like P-Safe’s main job is to give people parking tickets and make money for the school rather than care for students’ well-beings.

Instead, P-Safe officers should focus their efforts on protecting community members from sexual assault and hate crimes and protecting our property from vandalism. Officers also need to be more present and make more regular rounds of the campus, especially at night when people, particularly women, are more vulnerable.

We would have liked to have comments from P-Safe on this issue, but recently members of our staff have been told that P-Safe officers cannot comment to The Guilfordian. We’re disappointed by this because it is important that community members and P-Safe officers be able to engage in discussion as we try to make this campus a better and safer place.

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