Brian Bain: Life as a Campus Safety Officer During a Pandemic

Brian Bain: Life as a Campus Safety Officer During a Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has no doubt made a serious impact on the college experience for all students. Many national universities have shut down their campuses due to the rise of cases, and there are few schools that have in-person learning in a safe environment. Colgate has excelled in the returning of students back to campus; however, they could not have done it without the help of Campus Safety. 

Brian Bain is a campus safety sergeant at Colgate and has been a well-appreciated member of the team for seven years. During the pandemic, his work has become much more intense, as his staff is responsible for ensuring that the community abides by the Commitment to Community Health.  

Sergeant Bain is originally from South Jersey and has lived in upstate New York for fifteen years. Before his employment at Colgate, he worked with the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office in the Corrections Division as a Corrections Officer. 

“Colgate is a special place,” Bain said. “The family atmosphere makes it a fun place to be, whether working, attending sporting events or just visiting.” 

Before the pandemic hit, working as a sergeant already included many different duties and responsibilities. Some of these entail making checks and securing buildings on campus, assuring the safety and security of all students, faculty and staff members, as well as responding to emergency situations on campus. 

“Assuring that our students have the safest four years of their college career,” Bain said, is the ultimate philosophy behind his work.

Now with the pandemic, Bain is also responsible for attending online events to build a stronger rapport with the students and community members. The stress of COVID-19 has undoubtedly been a heavy weight during this time, yet Bain always pushes forward with a smile at work. To him, the students make the added stress worth it.

“Interacting with students and building stronger, professional relationships with them [is my personal favorite part of the job],” he said. 

Aside from working as a sergeant, Bain enjoys being outdoors in his free time — and Colgate is the perfect place for a stroll on a beautiful warm or cold day. His favorite spot on campus is at the top of the steps outside of Persson Hall, looking down toward Taylor Lake. At the bottom of those steps, Bain notes that Donovan’s Pub is his favorite place to grab a bite on campus.

During the spring and summertime, Bain spends his free time fishing. In the colder months, he finds most of his time outside being spent in the woods deer hunting. He recently owned a couple of racehorses, which raced throughout the year in New York and New Jersey. The pastime is ideal as he enjoys watching horses race and being around horses in general — and the outskirts of Hamilton, N.Y. certainly have excellent spots for horseback riding.  

Although this college year has been like no other, Bain is confident that things will improve, and the community is doing what they can to move through the Gates of Reopening. While it is saddening that a majority of the 2020-2021 academic year has taken place remotely, thanks to Sergeant Bain and the other campus officers, Colgate has been able to move out of the universal quarantine and begin establishing a more open campus. 

“We are still doing our best,” Bain said, and with time, he feels confident Colgate will progress and create a more normal college experience for students.