The Office of Campus Safety will bring back the student auxiliary safety officer job after Thanksgiving break. The position existed on campus in the 1990s and early 2000s, but the College shut down the program due to a lack of funding.
“We’ve actually wanted to bring back the program for a long time,” Bob Hooper, director of Campus Safety, said. “It was beneficial for us and the students and it was just time to bring it back. When we had [the program] it worked really well.”
Director of Student Engagement Laura Kane said the College is reinstating the program in part due to student concerns following the new restricted K-card access policy. Students expressed concern about not being able to stop temporarily in residence halls on their way home at night, according to the work report on the K-card policy. Although the auxiliary program will provide students with rides home at night, it is not a continuation of the Safe Rides program that Greek Council sponsored up until two years ago.
The job description includes checking and maintaining the College’s emergency equipment, serving as an approachable resource for students on campus and helping Safety with its routine patrols and everyday tasks. On weekends, the students will help with medical transports and rides for students who do not feel comfortable walking home at night.
At this point, three students have been hired as officers. After the program becomes better established on campus, Hooper intends to hire more students.
Sam Goldstein ’20 is one of the students who has been hired for the position. Goldstein decided to become a student officer because of her comfort with the Safety office. “I applied for the position because Safety has always been very helpful to myself and my friends,” Goldstein said. “I like the idea of making sure everyone feels safe and taken care of here.”
The student officers cannot start working until they undergo training from Campus Safety on the rules and regulations in the student handbook. The students will also undergo a CPR class and first aid training to become certified as a first responder. Hooper’s original goal was to have the student officers already working at this point in the semester, but the plan changed after they were unable to do the training over the two days of October break.
Hooper is excited to be working with students again. “They give us a perspective we don’t have, and they will be of great value to us,” Hooper said. “They may make us aware of changes we need to make, and I think that the safety messages we want out will be better received from students.”
Goldstein also feels the program will have positive effects on campus. “It seems like the program is going to continue to grow the understanding and positive relationship the student body already has with [Campus Safety].”