Campus Safety: More Aggravating Than Helpful

Jessie Markovetz

Choosing a topic for the editor’s column is never easy. I’d like to use this opportunity to vent my growing frustration with Campus Safety. Throughout my three years at Colgate, it has become clear to me that Campus Safety is far more aggravating and irritating than it is helpful. I cannot speak for the entire campus; however I believe that this sentiment is shared by many students.

First, we should examine the positive features of Campus Safety and examine the beneficial ways that this organization serves the school. Campus Safety’s most helpful functions include transporting injured students and unlocking doors. If Camp-O was replaced by an ambulance and locksmith I think many students, including myself, would be quite content. As News Edito of The Maroon-News for over a year, I have read many Campus Safety Blotters and I am constantly amazed by the frivolous tasks that they complete. Fire alarms, fraudulent ID use and students with alcohol constitute about half of all Campus Safety activity.However, my main point is not that Campus Safety is entirely useless, but that they are far more of a hindrance than a help. Maybe I am just bitter, but here have been some of my experiences with Campus Safety.This week I drove up to James B. Colgate Hall to pay a $25 parking fine that I had received the previous week. I spent about 10 minutes with the University accountant and paid the fine. When I left the building, I discovered a brand new red and white paper stuck underneath my windshield wiper. Granted, I was parked up the hill before 3:30p.m, however I was there for less than 10 minutes paying a parking fine, and with the brutal weather, walking from ParkerApartments was not an option. Does anyone really know where the money collected for fines goes? Campus Safety is so eager to write tickets, that I can only assume that the money must go to an extremely worthy cause.

You may be thinking, he’s just bitter because he got fined, and I guess that’s understandable, however let me describe another interaction I had with Camp-O. As a member of Scene Design, we often need access to our classroom in the evening and Campus Safety is supposed to unlock the door for students. I called their office and asked if I could be let into the classroom to work on my project, however they claimed not to have the paper that listed students who are enrolled in the class. While I had to be allowed into the classroom several times before, I understood their grounds for rejecting my request. However, I informed them that there was a list on the door that had the names of all students who should be granted access. I brought the list up to the office which clearly had my name on it, however my dastardly plot to gain access to my classroom and work on my project was foiled again when an officer noticed that the list was for the Fall semester. Clearly this was simply a mistake, and whoever wrote up the list changed the student’s names, but forgot to update the lead paragraph. This bureaucratic nightmare could not be resolved and I was refused access to my classroom and could not complete my project.

Again, you may be thinking that I’m just resentful. I shouldn’t expect Campus Safety to have a little compassion or sympathy for my dilemmas because they should just follow the letter of the law. As a member of Kappa Delta Rho, I witnessed first hand the deceitful, authoritative side of Campus Safety.

When KDR was being investigated for hazing, each member of the new class was called in and questioned. Some were read their Miranda rights and told that they faced possible expulsion. First, does Campus Safety even have the authority to Mirandize a student? Second, they treated me and several others in a condescending manner and attempted to use intimidation to further their investigation. Their abuse of authority was extremely unprofessional, dishonorable and amateurish. As a student who has never needed to be transported by Campus Safety to the hospital, my only positive interactions have been when I locked myself out of my dorm room. However, in my opinions, its definitely not worth all the hassle and pestering. It is clear to me that this organization is far more aggravating than it is cooperative or helpful.