Hoax highlights many security problems at the College

In lieu of the horrific events of Sunday morning, many of my initial fears concerning personal safety at the College, or on any Campus for that matter, have been profoundly re-instated.

While discussing these issues with other residents on my floor in Travers Hall, I was astonished to learn that some had not even heard about the shooting at Delaware State. I liken this lack of awareness to the awful fact that campus shootings are almost becoming expected occurrences. It is as if every time there is another school shooting it is in the media for less time; the media loses the focus and lives that have been lost (or at the very least altered) do not appear to be as valuable as those of previous tragedies.

I often have family and friends from home come to visit me at school. By becoming more familiar with the guest sign-in process, I have become very hesitant concerning the aptitude of such a process, which is intended to eradicate potential harm. It is assumed that campus authorities know the names of all guests within the residence halls (at the very least between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.), but how can we be so sure that all people are being properly accounted for?

Who is to say I will not simply stay within the building after 8 p.m. without ever going down to the desk to sign my guest in? Thus, that guest would be unaccounted for, completely unknown within the building. Hypothetically, my roommate could bring a guest into the building without proper identification. It’s not uncommon for someone to forget their license in the car or even at home and have no identification to leave at the desk as collateral during their stay. In such a situation, the student is asked to leave their school I.D. as collateral instead, simply providing the name of their guest without the guest’s proper identification. Who’s to say that the name given is truly the name of that guest and not some sort of alias?

Also, students living on campus must use their I.D.’s to swipe into the residence halls. Although this can be considered a campus-wide precaution, one swipe can facilitate entry for a countless amount of people. If a system similar to the one which keeps track of our meal plan points was implemented to keep track of who swiped in and out of the residence halls, students could be required to swipe before coming or going.

I feel that it is a bit naive to live within buildings that do not have metal detectors at their entrances and exits.

On a campus of 3,600 students I feel that metal detectors would serve as a necessary precaution. That does not go to say that metal detectors could definitely prevent situations such as the fears created by Sunday’s hoax, but they would stand as deterrence to such crimes.

My final concern is chiefly a proposal to heighten campus security. I personally receive ABC Updates alerts via text message on my cell phone. These messages are charged to my phone according to the text messaging rate of my bill. I recommend a similar text message alert system at the College, only to be used in the case of emergencies, as another means of alerting students and faculty of occurrences on campus.

On Sunday I was awakened at 7:38 a.m. by Campus Police and informed of the reported shooting. An e-mail had already been sent out but I would not check my inbox for hours to come. I believe that an alert program via text messaging would further facilitate campus security as those with text messages would be aware of campus news earlier, hence they would be able to inform those who do not have text messaging and may not have checked their inboxes.