On Public Safety
Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 16:09
Starting another year here at HC means many things: the return of late nights at Dinand, Saturdays spent on Freshman Field, a reintroduction to a very confused east coast version of Mother Nature (seriously though, 50s and wind to 80s and rain? Not cool)- at least for a Midwesterner. High up on this list, of course, is the return of off campus parties and their subsequent demise by Public Safety and Worcester Police.
This is in no way a criticism of the campus and the city’s attempts at keeping drunken college students under control. That in and of itself is a much bigger topic, with a lot more opinion than can fit in the space allotted for this week. More appropriately, this is the recognition of an issue I feel should be addressed- that of Public Safety’s obsession with drinking and punishment (and sometimes drinking related safety) and thus, the lack of attention paid to other matters of actual student safety.
For instance, a few good friends of mine found themselves on the wrong end of an accident with a Mack truck near campus, definitely not a situation any sane human wants to be in, ever. Thankfully, the situation was resolved and any damage done to either vehicle was minimal. However this conclusion was not reached before a Public Safety officer saw the confusion, should have noticed Holy Cross students stuck in a stressful situation and slowed to help, but instead continued driving.
In addition to this, I was recently told of a situation in which a student living off campus was leaving the library late at night and was uncomfortable walking to their home. Regardless of the distance, it is the job of a Public Safety officer to make students feel safe; when this student called to request a ride, they were told to wait 20-30 minutes. Really? Our campus is so large that you can’t stop what you are doing at 2 am to help a student alone get home safely for 20 extra minutes? You could argue that the student in question should have waited for the ride, but I feel this option can be overlooked in favor of examining why exactly it was necessary to wait 20-30 minutes without a legitimate excuse.
Again, I’m not sure why Public Safety can show up at the drop of a hat to a party and yet can’t arrive to escort a nervous student home or even slow down to ask students clearly in a stressful situation if they need any assistance. Perhaps this opinion would be paid more attention if I were shouting it while holding a red solo cup on Caro Street. This is not to assume, of course, that all Public Safety officers act this way; maybe even just one needs to shape up a little. But please, keep the reality of your authority in mind- the safety of every student here on the Hill, not just the drunk ones.