Students give Southern a ‘B’ for safety, survey shows


Jossinet Ramos Vera and Grace Sampson – Special to the Southern News

In order for college students to thrive they need to be responsible and dedicated, they need good professors and a welcoming environment, but most importantly they need to feel safe on campus.

This story is one of a six-part project for the Reporting and Writing course which included surveys conducted by journalism students who talked to different groups of 100 SCSU students each about various topics. The surveys were conducted in mid-April over one week. The topics reviewed concerned campus safety, Wi-Fi access, Buley Library renovation, campus shuttle service, favorite NFL teams and school spirit.

“The most important thing that we can do as the police department is to forge relationships with our students,” said Deputy Chief Pessina.

When it came to campus safety, students awarded Southern with a B grade. According to the Southern police department, the university police has a strong partnership with Hamden and New Haven police department along with the FBI and the State Police.

“Last semester I had a class at 7:30 p.m., it was ok, I wasn’t scared of anything,” said freshman Oluwarotimi Ali-Balogun. “They have cameras, there are people everywhere, there’s always someone watching.”

There are several ways of communications in case of emergencies on campus such as Southern Alert, blue light emergency telephones, siren system and more. According to Deputy Chief Pessina, patrols are tactically put out across campus in other to ensure the safety of the students, faculty, staff and residents in places such as the west and east side campus, the center core and the residential areas.

“I feel pretty safe,” said Maya Goldweit- Denton, a theatre major in her senior year. “It’s just walking around at certain times after it gets dark.”

Although campus safety earned a high mark on the grading rubric, there are students who feel far from safe. Some students are concerned with not having enough lighting in secluded areas like the shuttle stops, parking garages and Pine Rock Avenue which is known for petty theft like cell phone robberies. Students are also concerned with not having adequate patrolling officers on campus and suggest the use of police booths in order to improve campus safety.

“I never really see campus police around besides the blue poles,” said Nicole Mott, senior english major. “If something were to happen I wouldn’t feel comfortable running to a pole, knowing that someone is still not going to be around.”

With a late night class, Mott often finds herself walking back to her car alone and in the dark.

“It’s nerve-racking, always looking over my shoulder,” Mott said.

With SCSU being such a wide open campus, it is important that students, both residential and commuters, faculty and staff feel safe as they would at home in their neighborhoods.

“We as the police department cannot have a safe community if we don’t have the student faculty and staff and area of residents on board,” said Deputy Chief Pessina.

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