How to Increase Campus Safety

Photo Courtesy of Rob Varney

Ava Compagnoni,

Photo Courtesy of Rob Varney

Many colleges in  America have emergency blue lights scattered  around their campuses,  which help their students to feel safe. Blue  lights are security tools  that are meant to act as a  safety precaution in pub lic areas, creating a highly visible and accessible  way to reach campus  safety or if needed, law  enforcement. Ursinus’  campus safety can only  be reached by a phone  call (or other phone based methods, such as  an app). What happens  in cases when a student’s  phone is dead? They are  forced to take the risk  walking from the IDC  or Ritter all the way back  

to their residence or vice  versa. While Ursinus is  a small campus, there  should be a stronger  push here for a few blue  lights on campus, and  specifically Main Street.   Most of the recent  disturbances have  

involved people unaf filiated with the school,  which presents the  additional challenge to  the college of ensuring  safety on Main Street,  where there is technical ly “on-campus housing”  off of the campus bubble.  But these incidents can  be serious — remember  the almost-kidnapping  from last year. I propose  a blue light at each resi dence hall, plus a couple  spread out through the  

Main Street houses. Why  should Ursinus allow  its name to continually  get dragged through  the mud of being called  an unsafe campus? The  officers at campus safety  have a devotion to this  school, let’s help them  out.  

 If Ursinus cannot  afford the blue lights,  perhaps enhancing  the mobile app needs  to become a priority.  Perhaps allow students  traveling across campus  to set a safety timer: if  the user does not arrive  at the location within  the designated timeline,  the app will notify a  campus safety team. An  enhanced app could also  provide first responders  

with critical location-da ta during an emergency,  giving the tool another  advantage over blue light  boxes. Perhaps if campus  safety worked with a  more advanced technology and security reinforcements, incidents  such as the three recent  disturbances would be  less of an issue.