Signal portrait of DOP lacks balance

The article, “Office of Campus Police: six vacancies” from the April 2 edition of The Signal paints a rather inadequate portrait of New Jersey’s Civil Service system and the benefits it offers. The rules and regulations provide a uniform system for the hiring of law-abiding and honorable individuals as public safety employees throughout New Jersey.

The system allows for the year-round recruitment and testing of applicants at no cost to employees, saving thousands if not millions of dollars that would otherwise be passed on to taxpayers.

New Jersey’s Civil Service system is used by more than 300 municipalities and state agencies to hire police officers.

The Signal’s story and accompanying editorial fail to acknowledge that.

The Department of Personnel (DOP), as the steward of the Civil Service system, is committed to ensuring that colleges and municipalities are able to hire public safety employees. DOP has created numerous mechanisms beyond the traditional Civil Service process so that towns and colleges, including the College, can fill vacancies quickly.

Unfortunately, unlike many of its sister state colleges, the College has opted not to avail itself of those mechanisms. The College has the ability to hire security officers and promote them to Campus Police officers but has not done so since 2005.

The College also has the ability to hire through the Intergovernmental Transfer Program, which provides a list of qualified, trained and experienced laid-off police officers just waiting for a job. It has not done so.

The Signal’s story points out that “two to three officers leave each year,” but fails to delve into what steps the College is taking to retain them or to plan for those vacancies.

More critical reporting would have resulted in a balanced story instead of one with misplaced criticism.

Mark Perkiss
Written on behalf of Marjorie Schwartz,
Deputy Commissioner N.J. Department of Personnel

College falls short of ‘green’ mission

On March 29, Google’s Web site went totally black to raise awareness for “Earth Hour,” a worldwide energy conservation movement between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. of that night. On that same night, we were walking around campus and noticed that virtually every light had been left on in Forcina Hall, Holman Hall and even the old library, which is known to be vacant and unused.

In classrooms and offices throughout Forcina Hall, almost every light had been left on over the weekend.

The old library was aglow with an exorbitant number of lights, which seemed appalling on a Saturday night.

Although we did not observe other buildings’ lights on that night, like the Science Complex or the Social Sciences Building, we can only imagine how much total energy was wasted throughout the campus.

We are appealing to the College as a whole to start acting on the claims of being environmentally aware.

The College’s claim to be “going green” should be backed by action. Going green should be a habit and a lifestyle.

This problem can be easily remedied. When you leave a room, shut off the lights.

The College could ask the facilities and maintenance personnel to make an extra effort to be aware of the energy wasted and turn off the lights at night and on weekends.

Though this extreme waste of energy was especially shocking during internationally observed Earth Hour, it is an issue that must be addressed at all times. Professors and students alike can make a little bit of effort to shut off lights in academic buildings when they leave their classrooms or offices.

Abby Stern, Joselle McCracken, Elisabeth Breen, Michele Meisner, Kelly Salmon, Anya Saretzky and Esther Tetruashvily

Alternative needed for ‘Trayless Tuesdays’

As a person who would classify himself as an environmentalist, I appreciate what Sodexho is trying to do with “Trayless Tuesdays” in theory, but I do not like it in practice.

While watching people try to balance multiple plates and drinks without a tray was somewhat entertaining, I did not appreciate having to do it myself.

It would be one thing if you only had to carry one plate, but when Sodexho refuses to give you more than a minimal portion of any dish, multiple plates are necessary.

How about we save water by conserving plates and actually feeding the students rather than waiting in badly organized lines for 20 minutes only to be told we cannot have more than two pieces of fried chicken, but we’re more than welcome to come back on line later?

Patrick Bieger