Campus safety is an issue that concerns the whole country.
Salt Lake Community College is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students, but with over 60,000 people spread out over ten locations across the valley, ensuring that every student graduates without incident is an arduous task. As we embark on a new school year, it is important that we stay vigilant and aware in order to keep the Bruins in our sleuth from harm.
“One of the biggest things that I try to talk to people about is we all kind of have to be on the safety team,” says Lt. Jalaine Hawkes of the Utah Highway Patrol. “I only have so many troopers [and] I can only be on in so many places at one time, so I can’t know everything that’s going on campus. I think it’s very important for students to be observant … be aware of their surroundings.”
Shane Crabtree, the director of public safety at SLCC, shares a similar sentiment.
“I would say for the most part … crimes happen throughout the day … but I think for the evening classes, [students] need to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Use the buddy system to walk out to their cars or utilize our campus safety officers or UHP to provide escorts out to their cars if they are not feeling safe,” he says.
Campus safety officers are available to escort students from 6 to 10 p.m. on weeknights, but again, it’s best if all involved parties pitch in.
A simple yet important component of late-night safety that we can all help with, for example, is the lighting.
“If you see burned-out light bulbs, we want [people] to report it to us. We have spent a lot of money on our exterior lighting, we went to all LEDs. [They are] pretty energy efficient, but they also light up our parking lots pretty well,” Crabtree says.
Responding to concerns is one step toward providing a safe campus, and more initiatives will be unveiled during the fall semester.
“Obviously, we want everyone to be safe all the time. I will say that we have put a lot of pressure on our campus safety plan. This fall, we’re going to roll out a whole variety of marketing tools and whatnot,” he says.
No matter what — and where — you study, you can help our community remain a safe and friendly environment to learn. You don’t have to be a superhero, a super-genius or a highway patrol officer to be a good classmate to your fellow Bruins. All you have to do is be considerate, be aware and report any trouble you see to the proper authorities.
Have a great school year!