Campus Safety has resources available for students who do not feel safe


Photo by Paige Sanders

California Lutheran University’s Campus Safety office is located near Alumni Hall and The Habit. They are available to contact 24/7.

Paige Sanders, Reporter

Campus Safety at California Lutheran University works to ensure the safety of all students and assists in emergencies on campus while also being a resource for students 24/7. When an incident happens on campus, Campus Safety is available to assist. 

I think students need to know that Campus Safety is a resource for them. While they are not police, they are here to provide assistance with taking reports, helping call 911 in case of an emergency or even assistance with a car battery. Campus Safety and Residence Life staff are the two departments that are on campus 24/7 and therefore provide a large amount of support after hours,” said Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Christine Paul in an email interview. 

Not only does Campus Safety provide aid for students during an emergency, they also serve to help with parking permits, transportation around campus and more. 

“The Campus Safety website has a lot of information on resources. They offer safety escort service as well as mobility transport service to students,” Paul said. “There is a list of the Campus Safety staff on the page as well as information on how to report a crime or incident. [They are] always willing to assist students with calling police to file a report with TOPD as well.” 

Preventing emergencies and unsafe incidents on campus is of high importance to Campus Safety and recently they tested the emergency notification system that alerts students when there is an emergency on campus. 

“Campus Safety holds training on campus so that in the event there is an emergency, we are prepared. This includes testing our notification system like they did last week. We have not had to use that notification system yet this year, so a test will ensure that all systems are working properly so that we can all be notified if something is happening on campus,” Paul said.

In addition to notifications, students also have access to emergency blue light phones located around campus. These phones provide a safe communication system for students during an emergency situation. When a phone call is made, it connects callers directly to Campus Safety. 

“When a call comes in from a blue light phone, Campus Safety will answer the incoming call and attempt to speak with the person that is making the call (pending that the person stays at the blue light phone). If the officer answers the call and no one is speaking at the time of the call, the Officer will go and investigate the area of the blue light phone activation,” Director of Campus Safety David Hilke said in an email interview. 

Hilke said these emergency phones are located in several places throughout campus including the east administration parking lot, Buth Park, on the wall outside the Campus Safety office, outside the east lobby of the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, at the Samuelson Aquatics Center, and on the west side parking lot of Trinity Hall.

Although these emergency phones are a great resource in times of emergency, Hilke emphasizes how cell phones can be more useful and efficient. 

“Cell phones are a great replacement for the blue light phones. Blue light phones require the person making the call to remain stationary until help arrives. Cell phones allow the caller to contact Campus Safety while moving away from the safety concern,” Hilke said. 

Hilke said the standard protocol when Campus Safety is contacted regarding an emergency is to respond to the scene, if it is safe, and assess the situation, followed by Campus Safety assisting to the best of their ability. 

“If outside emergency personnel are needed, Campus Safety will initiate a 911 call and escort the first responders to the scene of the emergency,” Hilke said. “Campus Safety has access to live security camera feeds and recorded footage. This can be used if we are trying to track a suspect on campus or to monitor the scene from a remote location.”

Hilke also said the Cal Lutheran alert system is useful when needing to alert and communicate with students quickly. 

“Additionally, Campus Safety can send out emergency notifications or timely warnings via the CLU Alert system. Messages can be sent to registered users via text message, voice call, and email. The CLU Alert system has the capability of sending emergency messages to the 41 Alertus beacons that are strategically placed around campus and by taking over classroom screens to display the message,” Hilke said. 

Campus Safety is an effective resource available to all students. In addition, students can use Campus Safety to their advantage for any assistance and for emergency situations. 

“Campus Safety has been a great resource for me because they are able to help me with getting into my dorm when I forget my ID and they always arrive fast. I have called Campus Safety before to give me a ride back to my room after going to the gym on campus at night because I didn’t want to walk alone. I felt safe and comfortable knowing that they were able to assist me,” senior Caroline Slate said. 

Situational awareness and being aware of their surroundings are two ways Hilke said students can always ensure their safety on campus. 

“Students should trust their instincts and contact Campus Safety immediately to report their concerns,” Hilke said.