Campus Safety: How Safe Are Students?

Photo Courtesy of Rob Varney

With the recent rise in tragedies across campuses in America, there has been an increase in fear, as well as an increase in security efforts. When we asked Executive Director of Campus Safety, Gabby Wright, what measures are being taken to ensure safety across campus amidst this rise in campus tragedies, she stated, “Our team continues to remain diligent while patrolling the campus. I take the safety of the Ursinus community very seriously, and each time incidents like these occur, I use it as an opportunity to review our policies and procedures to ensure that they are aligned with lessons learned and best practices. Additionally, I am working on new training for faculty, staff, and students surrounding safety on campus and partnering with our Diversity Action Resource Team (DART) to host conversations about violence on college campuses.”

Campus Safety is remaining vigilant and is doing their best to make sure that students have nothing to fear while spending time on campus. Wright added, “Our team patrols on foot, bicycle, or in vehicles 24/7 throughout our campus to ensure the safety of our entire community. We respond to all incidents and calls for service; to include fire alarms, medical calls, and concerns from students, faculty/staff, and visitors. We are fortunate that we have been able to fill new campus safety officer positions to increase our presence and level of service throughout campus.”

Wright has not noticed a major rise in concern for safety from students related to recent tragedies in the news, stating, “I have not had any students reach out to me specifically regarding concerns about mass shootings on campus, however, I frequently have students contact me about specific safety concerns that they might experience. In those instances I work with students, and other Ursinus departments if necessary, to come up with a solution to the problem that they are facing. I have an open door policy when it comes to students who want to discuss safety concerns and I encourage everyone to reach out to me if there is something on their minds.”

As for students’ impressions of their overall safety, Wright stated, “Last December, I partnered with Residence Life on their annual survey to hear from students about how safe they felt on campus. Overall, 86% of respondents said they felt Safe or Very Safe on campus, 12% were Neutral, while 1% reported feeling Unsafe. The number one reason students reported feeling unsafe was lighting on the main campus. I am working with the safety committee and facilities to see how we can address these concerns.”

The Grizzly’s conversations with students suggested mostly the same: When asked about how safe she feels on campus, Jess Bagnell ‘25 stated, “I’m not too concerned about my safety on campus with the increase of tragedies. I feel very safe at this school.” Another student, Deanna Murray ‘26, when asked about campus safety, stated, “I think they’re doing okay, but there’s always room for improvement.”

The majority of students on campus appear to feel safe. With the continuous rise in incidents across college campuses in America, safety procedures will continue to advance as well. Any questions or concerns regarding safety can be answered by contacting Campus Safety at the number (610) 409-3333 or by going to their main office which can be found next to the main entrance to Upper Wismer.

Quadai Brown: