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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    A Message from University Police

    In the wake of the most recent attack on campus, concerns about campus safety and security are in the minds of many members of the Stony Brook University community; including faculty, and parents.

    With a population of over 35,000 including faculty, the university’s police department views Stony Brook as “a small city,” said Assistant Chief of Police, Douglas Little.

    Keeping the university safe and protected is the responsibility of university police as well as the campus community, Little continued.

    While campus police employed a comprehensive approach to protect the university including greater transparency to alert students in times of emergency, school administration also maintained that students were also responsible for their actions.

    The administration is emphasizing three goals for the campus community.

    The first is fostering greater communication and transparency among students, faculty and police. In times of emergency, the university will be using SB Alert to send messages to the campus population.

    Depending on the severity of the situation, the administration may decide on different forms to alert students. For less serious situations, administration will send emails to the campus community.

    For more serious situations, administration may use, in addition to emails, text messages and phone messages. However, this would depend on the situation.

    Last Tuesday’s attempted robbery was deemed “not a major threat,” Little said, so students were only sent an emails, instead of text messages.

    The second message for students is the “see something, say something” policy, said Jerry Stein, the dean of students and vice president of student affairs. University police and administration need help and cooperation from the students.

    Finally, following the first two objectives, Stein wanted to emphasize another policy to follow. Similar to the previous two, he encourages the campus community to assist police and administration in times of crisis by following procedures and communicating any concerns.

    “Students must have an awareness of their surroundings. Most students trust too quickly?but trust is earned!” Little said. “One tenth of one percent of the population are bad. The vast population of the community are good folks. We need to get the good folks to stand up.” Many university officials also encourage students to look for the Center of Prevention and Outreach.

    Established last May, the center focuses on three areas: sexual assault, substance abuse and depression and suicide. The center offers programs and workshops for students in the fields of health education and alcohol and substance abuse.

    The center also holds private sessions for students to discuss other problems that may be bothering them from domestic issues with friends or dorm mates to serious problems such as depression and suicide.

    Both Stein and Jenny Hwang, the associate dean and director for the Center of Prevention and Outreach, emphasized the fact that everything was confidential. The university would be following HIPAA, health insurance portability and accountability, regulations that would keep all the information private.

    “We want to give people the freedom to choose to proceed, it is not about collecting names,” Hwang said.

    For those students who may feel wary about walking alone at night, Stony Brook also offers two programs for students.

    The first is the Residential Safety Program, RSP, where students may call for a free escort anytime from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. In addition, the Ride Program offered by university police will escort students anytime from “dusk to dawn.”

    Maintaining their stance on campus safety, university officials encouraged students to cooperate with the police.

    “We can’t do this alone. We need help,” Little said.

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