The audio portion of our group project on public safety at Mississippi College features three students voicing their opinions on the safety of students. The first interview subject is Colleen; her friends were attacked their freshman year, and she explains their feelings regarding their situation. Colleen also tells us how campus security handled the situation and what efforts were made to accommodate them following the events. The second interview was with Cephia Blackwell who had her laptop stolen from her dorm room during her freshman year at Mississippi College. A girl who was not a student at the school was able to gain access to her dorm room and take her computer. The last interview was with a person who didn't want their name out, and she simply comments on the lack of security in the parking garage on campus.
Mississippi College’s campus has experienced a few safety issues in the past 3 years. In 2014, two freshman girls were robbed near the parking garage. This past month, one freshman had her car stolen near the same spot. These various incidents have caused parents, students, and faculty to ask questions about public safety on campus.
A Mississippi College junior, Colleen, recounts being robbed in the parking lot her first year on campus. She stated that she still feels the parking lots are too excluded from campus and very exposed. By the end of her first year, Colleen recalled people making jokes about what had happened to her. The crime committed against her on campus was a serious offense, yet it was been handled light-heartedly.
Sophia Blackwell, another student, recalls a time when she lost her laptop. When she reported it stolen to the security office, there was no sense of urgency. As they searched for the laptop through airdrop, another security crisis developed. A woman had gotten into a girl’s dorm because the door was propped open. Campus security handled both issues lightly. Due to this experience, Blackwell suggested that they install more cameras and tighten security.
Most recently, a freshman was had her car robbed from her in the parking garage. Two out of 21 crimes occur in parking lots. This unnerved girl became the victim of a crime in broad daylight on campus. Students have had many questions about how to be safer and better prepared, particularly in exposed areas of campus like parking lots.
Mississippi college police offered a few tips on campus safety. First, each person should be sure to pay attention to their surroundings. It is crucial to notice people who are unfamiliar or act suspiciously. All students should be on their guard particularly when it is dark outside.
Another tip offered by campus security was to have 911 dialed on your cellphone. Anyone who does this can feel more secure knowing that the emergency line is one button away. This can also save a few seconds if a crime does happen. Small steps like this will lead to safer, well-equipped students.
Mississippi College also tries to place aggressive patrol around the campus perimeters. Their goal is to make security very public in order to ward off any potential criminals. Their daily patrol routes insure visibility at the most vulnerable and exposed parts of campus. With all of this, the most important thing remains to be aware. The campus security encourages both staff and students to be as responsible and prepared as possible.
Campus security constantly re-evaluates how to make the campus more safe. Their telecommunication system has been successful in the past. They have also partnered with Residence Life to promote a new keychain that can have campus police on the way with the push of a button. This technology along with constant critique of their safety plans demonstrates how proactive Mississippi College security is.
If you are a victim of some type of emergency on or near campus, you can either dial campus security’s number or 911. Either number will have campus security at the scene with any necessary law enforcement, fire, or EMS help.