Campus Safety and Security is creating a permanent advisory committee, with plans to start meeting in mid-October. The committee, which will meet every two to three weeks, will serve to continuously review internal policies and practices and collaborate with other student organizations at the College.
The committee will include students and staff, most likely three to four staff members and five to six students, according to Steve Klass, Vice President for Campus Life. In addition, Klass and Director of Security David Boyer will sit on the committee.
“The mission of the [Security] advisory group will be to provide a conduit for shared information, a space to answer questions about policy and practice and a venue for fully transparent and candid discussion between students and members of the [Security] team on any issues that any of the participants want to raise,” Klass said.
The committee plans to mimic the work of other groups including the Student Dining Committee and the Undergraduate Residential Life Advisory Committee, both of which have had success with similar self-study collaborations in the past.
“Ideally, I’ll be able to bring back all of last year’s participating students who didn’t graduate to provide thoughtful continuity,” Klass said. To fill the remainder of the openings, Security will reach out to representative student groups, such as the Minority Coalition, College Council (CC) and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee to work together to compile nominations.
The creation of this new committee comes after a semester-long self-study program last year chaired by Klass. Based on the success of the program, Klass recommended the College implement a permanent version.
Last year’s committee has already started to instate several recommendations. For instance, Security has collaborated with a campus group called Alcohol Working Group to initiate several changes. In addition, Security has worked with the Office of Student Life to change several aspects of the event planning process.
CC has already worked with Security to build stronger relationships with the student body, and hopes to continue forging these ties in the future.
“We’ve noticed that students are afraid of Security and the strike system, because they don’t know what a strike is,” Erica Moszkowski ’15, CC co-president said. “There’s a lot of vague language around discipline, and no one really knows where disciplinary actions and investigatory actions come from. Technically the deans are the only ones who take disciplinary action, and Security just investigates. There’s a perception that you’ll be called into Dave Boyer’s office, you’ll have an unknown number of strikes and then bad things will happen if you have three strikes.”
Moszkowski explained that CC recommended all student organizations elect someone in their group to act as the social coordinator who will become familiar with the Security officers and the event planning software. Moskowski believes it will be helpful for a member of each student group to know the Security officers in case they investigate an event.
In addition, CC also worked to implement a rule where groups supply a cell phone number on the event notify form so Security can text or call that number if there is a noise complaint.
Overall, Moszowski said, “We want to make that relationship easier from the students’ perspective.”
“This initiative is as much about building and enhancing relationships as it is anything else. Everything was on the table in last year’s committee conversations and I expect that kind of affirming transparency and candor to characterize our work going forward,” Klass said.