Being a college student can be scary; especially when you have to park off campus, are traveling in the city or are experiencing a new environment away from home.
Many students aren’t sure what to do to keep themselves safe, so they resort to buying pepper spray or getting a parking ticket so they don’t have to walk home alone in the dark. Although Pacific University may not have jurisdiction to provide better lighting off campus, the university does have its own way of keeping students safe: Campus Public Safety (CPS).
CPS provides a number of services, including the following: escorts, lockout assistance, helping injured or ill students around campus and even jump starting cars.
“When anyone bleeds or anything burns, we’re the first ones to arrive and the last ones to leave,” Senior Officer Ryan Kimberly stated, showing just how serious CPS officers take their jobs. They’re available on call 24 hours a day, so when a student feels even a little unsafe, they should always contact CPS.
“If you’re not sure whether to call or not, you should always call. There’s never a wrong time to call CPS,” Kimberly commented. CPS will be there for staff and students whether it be to help fill out a report if you’re the victim of a crime, or provide mental health resources if you’re concerned for someone’s well-being. They often receive a wide variety of calls, from being worried about weird people on a bus to calling about an unexpected fire alarm, so no request is too weird.
In an ideal world, Kimberly commented on what he would change to better ensure the safety of Pacific students, “I would add two officers to every shift, and every officer would have a body cam. Each officer would have crisis intervention training and learn how to de-escalate situations before they turn physical.” He also stated that if there are any problems, like burnt out campus lights, to contact him or another CPS officer so they can fix it.
Parking is one of the biggest occurrences where students feel unsafe, as they often have to park off campus and walk blocks to get back to their dorms late at night. If ever in this situation, CPS says they’re available to provide a ride back to campus, help locate parking, or just give general advice on what to do. Kimberly’s biggest piece of advice is to appeal if you get a parking ticket, as there are hundreds of parking tickets being given out each semester.
“Everyone has the right to protect themselves,” Kimberly said. “This is the real world, and if you have to keep yourself safe, then you need to do everything possible to do that.”