Students critique Campus Safety

According to CBS Los Angeles, Thousand Oaks consistently ranks within the top 10 safest large cities (population between 100,000 and 499,999) in the U.S. in annual surveys.

Despite the statistically renowned reputation of the area, there are several aspects of California Lutheran University campus security that are being criticized.

The Campus Safety system is meant to protect the school and students along with providing help and services for students in need. Campus Safety officials work daily to ensure that aspects of campus life continue to prosper and correspond with the established school and city restrictions.

Campus Safety has done a sufficient job of maintaining their commitment to students and staff alike. However, it has become more frequent to hear students complaining about the Campus Safety staff.

Reports from students claim that Campus Safety has neglected student needs and services, resulting in a loss of trust and a handful of distressed postings on the Facebook CLU Compliments page. Fred Miller, the director of campus safety at CLU, was able to provide some context behind the spawn of recent issues.

“Our staff is very dedicated and hardworking,” Miller said. “We are fortunate to live in such a safe area and rarely do we have to worry about any type of severe threat to our lifestyle. However, in terms of everyday organizational tasks and duties, our staff is always busy trying to maintain a smooth operation day in and day out.”

Officers are needed to patrol, watch the surveillance cameras, take calls from students and faculty and maintain safety throughout the buildings.

Junior Sean Schroeder is a criminal justice major and is currently working on a project on lethal weapons regarding law enforcement. Schroeder has taken courses such as criminal policing and criminology, both of which provided him with an understanding of basic law enforcement systems.

When asked about the role that campus safety has to play in our lives as students, he said, “I think campus safety does an adequate job of maintaining student life and their presence is definitely important. However, in the case of a serious emergency, I would feel more comfortable if our officials had a more established sense of authority.”

Campus Safety officials are not allowed to carry firearms or submissive weapons. Any type of serious situation is left for the Thousand Oaks Police Department.

“For example, if I was getting mugged outside of the library and I somehow made it over to one of the light poles with an emergency response on it, I would feel more comfortable knowing that a Campus Safety official could respond with the adequate tools and resources to detain the individual and help me get on my way,” Schroeder said.

Junior CJ Picerni was involved in an incident last year that required help from Campus Safety officials.

“One of my roommates last year was mixing medications and had a violent episode in which me and my roommates were all victimized,” Picerni said. “Obviously, considering the severity of the situation, the authorities assisted in detaining this individual, however, before the cops came, the safety officials were having a hard time keeping him under control for whatever reason.”

“I feel very safe as a student here in general, but in that particular situation, I felt a little uneasy throughout the whole process,” Picerni said.

Despite the critiques on Campus Safety from students like Schroeder and Picerni, crime on campus continues to be low.

 

Peter James
Staff Writer
Published December 11, 2013