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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Campus Security: Communication Can Still Improve

    ‘ ‘ As commuter to Stony Brook, I’ve tried to integrate myself into campus life.’ Despite this, keeping up with what’s going on around campus can be a chore for all of us who go home at the end of the day.’ While most people knew about the recent string of muggings and attacks on campus by word of mouth, I found out from the Statesman frontpage.’

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Now, I admit, it’s probably my own fault that I remained in the dark about the new security alerts.’ My cellphone display screen is broken, so I don’t get text messages, and I lost my SPARKY password on day one of freshman year and haven’t bothered to reset it.’ Therefore, I don’t receive any of the announcements sent by the University.’

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Despite my own shortcomings, I applaud the University’s effort to improve school to student communications.’ The incident at Virginia Tech last year proved that communication is key to ensuring a safe campus environment.’

    However, what I find still missing are advisory warnings for what immediate actions to take.

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ For example, during the gas leak, it would have been nice to know that the North Entrance was being blocked off, and that redirection of cars was causing massive traffic tie-ups.’ Instead of sitting in my car watching the needle inch towards empty for a half hour, which is how long it took me to get off campus, I could have been studying in the library.’

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Last Tuesday night, I was hanging out in Roth quad.’ On the trek back to the Tabler parking lot, I noticed how dark it was.’ So much for campus police being out in droves. I didn’t see a single authoritative-looking figure around.’ A few months ago, I would have sauntered across Circle Road, taking in the fresh night air.’ These days, though, I scuttle quickly, trying not to make eye contact with anyone.’ I don’t want anybody thinking I’m a mugger or, worse, for girls to think that I’m a sexual predator.’ Unfortunately, fear breeds unfriendliness and an unwillingness to meet strangers.

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ I finally got to my car that night at 11:30PM. I decided to take the South Entrance to Nichols Road.’ Since the signs say the gates close at midnight, I figured I was safe.’ I drove all the way to the end of Marburger Road, only to find that the meaning of the word ‘midnight’ has been changed; the gate is locked ahead of schedule.

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ As a commuter, I’ve noticed a recent trend only a commuter might see.’ The gates are being locked earlier; the Main Entrance is being guarded more regularly; and overall people just seem to be getting inside earlier.’ It’s annoying, it’s inconvenient, and it assumes that dangerous people don’t have school IDs, or that they can’t walk.’ Still, I suppose a betting man would be grateful for these changes. It’s better to improve security slightly that not at all.’

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ The annoyance is for the greater good and as a closed institution, the University certainly has a right to check who comes and goes through its gates.’ It would be nice, however, if the University changed its policy so that the gates closed an hour earlier, they change the sign and inform commuters who are directly affected by these changes.’

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ I’m not an unreasonable person.’ I understand that improvements take time, and maybe even a little money to implement.’ But it’s not just’ clearing up the ‘annoyance factor’ that’s important; improving communication to streamline the system will not only make everyone safer, it’ll improve campus life as well.’

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