Campus wants to connect with Security

By Rowan Baiocchi

The Trail reached out to the new director of security, David Ferber, to discuss his vision for the future of Security Services but he, unfortunately, was unavailable due to a personal matter. The Trail hopes to feature Ferber soon.

The recent departure of long-time director of security Todd Badham presents a perfect opportunity to reflect on how the campus community views Security Services. In an effort to identify common general campus sentiments towards the program, The Trail interviewed students on campus to ask them some questions about security.

Across the board, a concern that jumped out among the population was the separation between the student body and the security members who serve them. When asked how they would like to see security services change throughout the next year, sophomore Mika Lopez answered, “Seeming less separated from the community as a whole.” Lopez also voiced concerns about security’s presentation. “I think a lot of the way they present themselves is very similar to the way that police present themselves, which inevitably presents a lot of problems,” they said.

On the flip side, students report that Security does have a longstanding history of success. Sophomore Mary Borgerding expressed that her experiences with security have been “exclusively positive,” adding that “at least half of the security personnel I interact with are my peers.”

Trimble, says that Security Services excels at being right where they need to be, promptly responding to students’ calls. A combination of swift response times, attentive phone operators and student staff make it significantly easier for the student body to interact with security. Specifically, students can interact with their peers instead of someone they might not instantly recognize, resulting in otherwise tense situations progressing infinitely more smoothly.

Students also emphasized that they wanted to interact in more comfortable settings with Security Services and that they found their physical presence important. Borgerding brought up the idea of workshops: “I think it would be really cool if they offered self-defense workshops,” she offered. Borgerding also suggested that security could engage in new dialogues with the student body. “They could be a little more involved in discussions that are had about sexual violence or racial biases on campus,” she said. Leo Segal also suggested doing more community outreach; “I don’t think I’ve ever seen them do something like that,” he said.

To most students, Security Services appear separate from the campus community. The only interactions most have with security are during fire alarms or when they lock themselves out of their rooms. This distance, coupled with their association with the police, creates somewhat of a gap between students and the people who keep them safe. A potential starting place: outreach. Whether it’s speaking at events, providing self-defense workshops to emphasize community safety, or even something as simple as coffee hours, taking steps to ground security within the community here at the university would go a long way.