When campus security knocks on your door at midnight just to let you know that your car is unlocked, that shows what kind of security team is watching out for you while you are away from home. Living on campus can be apprehensive to those who don’t know their surroundings as well as they do at home. Uncertainty clouds your mind while walking across campus at night to go to a class, your car or just back to your dorm from a late night studying in the library. While on other campuses I have caught myself looking over my shoulder more than once and not because there was no security, but because I did not know what kind of security there was on campus. Since living at Blackburn, I know who the security people are and where to find them if needed. I find myself not having to worry as much about looking over my shoulder constantly because I feel safe most of the time.
Blackburn security does an admirable job at keeping the campus as safe as possible for the residents and visitors, there is no doubt about that. Just seeing the team members walking around campus and in the dorms it makes this home feel safe.
While security’s presence on campus is obvious, what about the times that security is not available or actually seen? In other cases, at colleges much larger than Blackburn, there are other means of security other than just having people patrolling the campus.
Cameras are a big security measure used on many campuses. Cameras provide another set of eyes that the security team would be able to use in case of emergencies, where they need to know when and where one particular incident occurred. Let’s say security needed to know who entered a building at a certain time. A camera on that building’s entrances and exits would allow a quick resolution in most cases. Now these systems are expensive to install, but they could make the security team even better than they are now.
Another area that concerned me when I first moved here was the key system used in the residence halls. I know that most of the time keys are an easy way to make sure only those who live in that dorm are allowed to enter, but what happens in the instances that happened in the past where keys worked on multiple buildings? Personal keys for every student are perfect for their actual rooms; its the outside doors that have me concerned just a little bit.
In this day and age we cannot be too careful with who we let into our homes, the residence halls. There has been multiple times where I have held the door for someone entering the building when I was leaving or entering also and I did not always know if those people actual lived in the building or not. Once they are in the building they have access to the entire building and no one would be the wiser. Yes, we have the resident directors and assistants who are on duty, but they cannot sit there and keep track of who enters and leaves the building. It is just not possible. We could have security and residence life have a check-in desk when residents enter the halls, but again it is just not possible on such a small campus. There are simply not enough resources for this.
A way to get around a check-in desk could be to get a key card system. The key card would be the student’s ID, the one used for meal swipes, that logs when someone enters or exits a resident hall. This would allow security and residence life to keep track of who enters and exits. Security would be able to see this in case of an on campus emergency or to help track down a certain individual. Residence life would benefit as well. What happens if there is a fire and everyone has to evacuate the hall? With the card system the resident director could access who was all in the building at the time and make sure everyone got out. Both teams would be able to keep track which resident in certain cases of emergencies.
Another measure that would help the security of the campus would be to educate students on the dos and don’ts of keeping campus safe. Education is the backbone in keeping everyone safe while they are away from home. That’s where the residents come in: they are the eyes and ears of campus and probably know a lot more than security might about things happening on campus. Residents need to be the ones who are aware and held accountable for keeping campus safe for everyone.
Security does an amazing job at keeping our home safe, but safety can always be improved whether its by means of installing new systems or just educating residents on how to keep the campus safe. Blackburn is our home and I know I would like my home to be as safe as possible.