MU
Oak Leaves

February 15, 2019



MU Security Office Creates Student Safety Program


Kaleigh Gabriel

 

The Manchester University Security Office has been making many efforts in the last months to increase the feeling of safety on campus for students. One of the most heavily requested efforts was a student walk program which would serve as a security escort system for students walking on campus late at night.

As the spring semester begins, Manchester University Safety Office has announced a new program. Beginning Feb. 1 the Manchester University Safety Office will be providing the Spartan Safety Walk Program.

Officer LaTasha Henry has coordinated the Spartan Safety Walk Program for students who feel safer with an escort. “The purpose of our program is to give students access to a campus escort, much like a buddy system, for their comfort,” Henry says. “Many students think that because they feel no threat that they cannot call Safety for an escort.”

While this is not the case, the Safety Office recognizes that students would feel safer walking in a group across campus. First-year Lilli Cook says there are many times that she and her friends would “stay at the library until close.” The subsequent walk back to the first-year dorms could be “dark and creepy,” which is why student safety officers accompanying them seems like a good idea to Cook.

“I understand the worry of some students to walk alone in certain areas of the campus alone late at night, whether or not they feel a threat,” Henry says. “There have been many times that I have been out making security rounds late at night in unlit areas where the dark was eerily creepy.”

Safe Walk teams are small groups of trained student security officers. Student officers have undergone training for different security events to ensure safety during student walks. Student officers will carry flashlights and wear visible arm bands with a badge-like emblem to ensure students they are trained student officers.

First-year Andy Vance plans to use the program for late nights she spends practicing in Winger or working in Cordier. “Knowing that Safe Walk teams are available is reassuring because it makes me feel safer about walking all the way across campus, especially due to the limited lighting in certain areas,” she says.

Meanwhile other students, like first-year Erica Mohr, do not exactly know if they will have a direct use for the program, as they are usually asleep at those hours, but they know that it will be a step of improvement in campus safety. “I think safe walks give a reassurance to students that there are more methods of security,” Mohr says. “It’s like a security blanket for students.”

Tina Edwards, Safety Director, likes that metaphor. “The number one goal of Manchester Campus Security is that every student feels comfortable and protected on our campus,” she says. “Through this program that Safety Officer Henry has worked hard to coordinate, our office can provide many levels of security to students.”

Henry reminds students that while the new program is a safe escort service, Manchester University safety officers are on duty around the clock for any problems. As she notes, no safety concern is too small. “It is our job to provide security to all Manchester students,” Henry says.

Spartan Safe Walk teams will be available between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Monday–Thursday and 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. Friday–Sunday. To request a team, students follow the procedure for calling the Safety Office, which can be reached at 260- 982-5999.