The Achilles’ heel of security

Photo by Connor Kenworthy Security is strict at the front gate, but people are able to sneak through the back gate.

By Brianna Spieldenner, Asst. Opinion Editor

 

For most students, coming to college is the first time they will be away from the protective hands of their parents and community. Traveling far, they have come to Eckerd College to finally make a way for themselves and become more independent.

Because of this, college security is one of the most important things for students and parents alike. Parents want to know that their children, whom they’ve taken care of for most of their lives, are going to be well protected. A large part of maintaining the Eckerd’s safety is monitoring who comes onto campus.

Eckerd depends mostly on the front gate check-in point. Many outsiders slip through the back gate, though, which poses a potential threat to campus.  Guests to sneak in and stay for longer than allowed, and unwelcome visitors find their way to Eckerd’s nightlife seen. This causes a big problem for the security team.

“Guests just don’t have the same level of respect that other students for the campus,” Director of Emergency Management and Campus Safety Adam Colby said. “The one thing that I try to remind students is that you’re responsible for your guests at all times. So if you bring them onto campus and they do something on campus you’re responsible for their actions.”

In the words of Colby, a recurring problem has been students teaching their guests to get around the front gate, notably by jumping the fence at the back of campus. Luckily, security fixed this problem a few years ago with a camera. Another problem is an overstayed visit by guests, whom the security team often gets reports of, then promptly escorts them off of campus.

The problem is that compared to other college campuses, Eckerd’s dorms are small and spread out all over campus. Other colleges check in guests in the lobbies of their dorms, but it would be too costly to attempt to do that here, leaving the front gate as the only point for check in.

One may think that security would start stricter policies to counteract this type of behavior, but instead, they’re actually not the ones in charge of making policies; the Community Standards Incident Review Committee is. As opposed to being annoyed with this lack of power, Adam Colby views this as a good thing.

“They’re thinking from a student life angle how a policy would affect us. It’s a good checks and balances,” Colby said.

This does not make Eckerd’s security less effective or less strict than other schools. Junior Dylan Faulkner, who has attended two other colleges, attributes our less strict security to our location.

“In New Haven there were always cops because New Haven has a pretty high crime rate… it was a little bit more needed, security there,” he said. “In Maryland’s Chesapeake College there was no security because it was a very nice area. Based on the location and the atmosphere that Eckerd brings I don’t see a problem with the way they have it set up.”

While we lack in some areas, we make up greatly in others.

“One of our biggest strengths is our student body and our size,” Colby said. “Typically when something occurs on campus we’re small enough that someone has heard about it and will tell us about it, so it’s really about trying to build a trust with the campus body because we can’t prevent everything from occurring. But if something does occur, then someone will come forward and talk to us.”

So, despite those who seek to take advantage of our security, they hold up just fine. While they differ markedly from other college’s security teams, Eckerd’s is more than effective for a college of such small size and strong bonds of community

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