As Thanksgiving approaches, Jared and I are reflecting back on a whirlwind of exciting projects — the Football Fever initiative, the Elections Returns Watching Party, the Screen on the Green, and Homecoming. We saw unprecedented turnout at each of these events and want to thank everyone who helped make that possible.
As we move forward, I want to highlight the issue of improvement of campus safety. With the help of a task force of student leaders, we’ve conducted student surveys, benchmarked our peer institutions, and begun creating a detailed proposal for the administration regarding campus safety.
With the various Crime Alerts and Official Communications that have been flooding our e-mail inboxes recently, safety is on many students’ minds. We can all educate ourselves on the safety protocols already in place. A recent survey showed that a majority of students don’t have enough information to use more than half of these safety precautions. Visit www.cmu.edu/police, the University Police website, where the university’s safety services are explained.
Beyond awareness, the safety task force has chosen three specific topics to focus on for immediate improvement: dorm safety, general campus safety (such as lighting), and transportation. With each meeting, more questions seem to come out of our conversations. Are student desk attendants sufficient? Do we need to implement a sign-in system for guests? Does the Escort Service cover a large-enough area? Is there enough lighting on campus? Are there enough police around to make us feel safe? Is there a need for additional security cameras in academic buildings and residence halls?
We’re not arguing that the university can make our campus 100 percent safe. We live in an urban environment, and at some point, students do need to learn to take the added precautions to take care of themselves. But when 45 percent of students surveyed feel that Carnegie Mellon is doing only a satisfactory or worse job of making students feel safe, then a real issue exists.
This is a crucial time to be aware of our surroundings and all of the safety protocols that are available to us. Take the time to educate yourself of the options that are available. If you have any suggestions, please contact me at pgodbole@. In the meantime, have a safe, warm, and happy Thanksgiving!