By Taylor Baker
College campuses across the country experience public safety problems. Is Suffolk County Community College prepared for a situation in regards to sexual harassment, theft, and assault.
The SCCC safety brochure discusses precautions, possible crimes to be aware of, and what to do if one occurs. All members of the college community are encouraged to report any and all suspicious activity they may observe while on campus. Individuals may report any activity to public safety officers on patrol or they can contact the office of public safety.
Beatriz Ezquivel, a sophomore on campus, when asked how the campus officials handle patrolling the school, said, “They do a decent job, especially in the parking lots, because they’re always patrolling.”
At Suffolk some prevention tips to keep in mind, especially when walking alone in the parking lots, are to have a key ready when getting ready to go home, and walk to any vehicle with others. However, students feel that the parking lots are safe. “For late classes campus security are patrolling the lots at night to make sure you get safely to your car.” Said Ezquivel.
Reports from the SCCC safety brochure show a chart of crime statistics. The report states that on the Grant campus in 2008 there was 1 forcible sex offence on campus in 2008, 17 burglaries in 2007, 15 in 2008, and 2 in 2009. In 2007 and 2009 there was 1 motor vehicle theft and the list goes onto other crimes. As for the Ammerman and Eastern campuses, 0 crimes were committed in the three years, 2007- 2009.
Kevin Haley, a sophomore student, exclaimed, “Students need to be aware of their surroundings in any circumstance, whether it be in the school parking lots or in the school itself.”
Students who have witnessed or experienced any problems regarding public safety are asked to seek an officer and/or a SCCC staff member. Public safety officials will take care of the situation, which is located in the shinnecock building, room 120 located on the Eastern campus. The number is (631) 548-3636, in which a message can be left and they will receive the call. In Ammerman a guard booth operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Guard Booth is located off College Road near the bus stop. The number to call is (631) 451-4242. As for the Grant campus the public safety office is located in the North Cottage adjacent to Captree Commons. The Number to the Grant campus public safety office is (631) 851-6777.
SCCC has an Emergency Response Team (ERT). The ERT is responsible for responding to emergency situations. In the event of a serious emergency, when there is an imminent threat to the community, public safety officers are on duty. Depending on the situation, it is the policy of the college to notify 911, and eventually be in touch with the director of public & fire Safety, who will begin the necessary communications to the campus community.
“For the safety of the students, including myself, if there was a chance that someone potentially dangerous was on campus I would want to know right away.” Commented Nicole Canovas, age 22.
A third semester student, Nick Lane, asserted, “I think they have excellent security procedures and although I never had any personal need for the security yet, it’s reassuring to know that they’re there.”
The technologies used by SCCC to communicate with the college community include New York Alert, public systems, administrative message alerts, college e-mail, the college web page and telephone messaging, both calls and texts to make Suffolk a safe environment to be in.