How to Manage Safety as Incidents of Campus Violence Increase Across the Country

By Phoebe Chen | Staff writer

4 mins read
man wearing black officer uniform
Photo by Rosemary Ketchum on Pexels.com

In the context of the ongoing reports of mass shootings nationwide and the four students killed at the University of Idaho in November, students should know how to protect themselves in dangerous situations. Though Drew University has been labeled as one of the safest campuses in the country per its website, some Drew students still worry for their safety.  

The surrounding communities of Madison and Morris County have a good reputation for their low crime rate, allowing Drew University to keep its gates open to the public until 8 p.m. The Lancaster Road entrance is open 24 hours with a security booth. Drivers do not have to stop to provide a form of identification. Some students, such as Rosie Sapperstein (‘23), are unsettled by the lack of questioning of visitors. “How do we know if people entering do not have ill intent?” Sapperstein asked.  

police car on road in night town
Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

In response to questions like this, Richard Wall, the University Director of Security, reiterated the safety of the outer community surrounding Drew’s campus. Wall is a retired law enforcement officer who keeps in close contact with the Madison Police Department. “As I am sure you have heard before, the saying, ‘If you see something, say something’ is a practice I would suggest you and your fellow students stand by,” he said. “We are a community, and it takes everyone to be part of the community when trying to keep our community safe.”  

Wall encouraged students to utilize Drew’s safety resources, including the LiveSafe app. This app, which all Drew students can access, enables students to keep in close contact with law enforcement and friends while walking home at night through the SafeWalk feature. “Under the resource tabs, students have access to building lists [and are able to] connect with counseling [and] reach out to [the Center for] Academic Excellence or Health Services,” Wall said. “There is a wide array of resources on this app for each Drew University student to have at their ready.”

Students also have access to a training video on what to do in an active shooter situation. The acronym ALICE (Alert, Location, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) summarizes a list of survival techniques discussed in the video, which can be found on the Drew website. “As a certified ALICE instructor, I can state the concepts under ALICE are valuable to each and every person in a situation that involves an active shooter,” Wall said. “Always be mindful of the area you are in, and be prepared to handle various situations.”  

Wall encouraged students who see something suspicious to call 911 or campus security at (973) 408-3379. He also noted that security is present for 24 hours every day on campus.

Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Phoebe Chen is a sophomore majoring in English with an emphasis in writing and communication studies and minoring in creative writing.

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