By Corey Sessa
Taking care of her two young children was her main concern, the dangers lurking on the campus were not.
Angela Prevosto prepares to get her children fed and ready for bed, she gives both of them a kiss on their forehead and rushes out the door since she is already 5 minutes late. Angela hops in her car barely able to say goodbye to her fiancé and quickly makes her way to the Ammerman campus where she will be attending her eight o’clock Sociology class on this Tuesday evening late in 2011. Angela was excited to be only two semesters away from achieving her Nursing Degree. Though she is always weary of walking alone through campus in the dark, she is most afraid the falling branches and scurrying animals that make sudden noises as she walks the pathways through campus. “I would always walk as fast as I could to and from my car” said Prevosto. On this particular night there was something worse lurking in the shadows of the campus forest which lines the many pathways.
“I was grabbed from behind, and he man demanded I gave him my purse and cell phone” said Prevosto. As Angela walked from the parking lot to her Sociology class in the Southampton building, she was confronted by an unidentified man who quickly made off with her belongings, and was never caught due to the fact that she could not provide an accurate description of her attacker. It took a few semesters for Angela to return to the campus to finish pursuing her degree due to financial and family reasons. Though Angela escaped the 2011 attack unharmed, “I still look behind me when I pass that exact spot where the attack happened”, said Prevosto.
“We had many reports of suspicious activity and incidents that we could not solve”, said John Williams, former Ammerman Campus security officer. As the incidents were rising the campus decided to look at how other campuses were helping to relieve the fear of and minimize crime. Stony Brook University was one of the first campuses to adopt the “security stations” around their much larger and populated campus. “We would try to cover as much of the campus as possible to deter wrongdoings but there was only so much help that we could provide” said Williams. Within the past few years the Ammerman campus has erected numerous “yellow emergency towers, topped with a blue police-like light”. These towers are placed strategically throughout the campus to help deter future unexpected attacks on students as well as any sort of emergency. One of these towers can be seen within a few feet of Angela Prevosto’s 2011 attack. Once someone depresses the “emergency” button on the tower, the top-mounted blue light will illuminate and an emergency call is sent to the campus security personnel. The personnel can quickly assess the situation and if needed contact the local police or other emergency departments for further assistance. “The number of reported crimes has seemed to be cut in half due to the presents of the towers”, said Williams. Though the security personnel deal with many “false alarms” each semester from immature students, the immaturity is overlooked as safety is the main goal.
“These contraptions are just another way for the college to gouge us students for more taxes and tuition” said Josh Lewis, freshman and Biology Major. Many of the students around campus feel that the towers do not solve or prevent enough crime to justify the extra expenses they pay to keep them up and running. Lewis claims that ‘The small difference they will make is not large enough in the long run’. Lewis who plans to fund his own schooling by working at a local fast food restaurant says, “Every extra amenity is just another shift I need to work, rather than studying to succeed”. Since the recession has hit a few years ago many students find themselves alone to pay their own way through college and helping relieve their parents and guardians of the financial burden. When asked if he anyone he knows has fell victim to campus crime, Lewis said “Actually my brother’s car was broken into and his mp3 player was stolen two years ago by the Islip Arts Building”. Luckily for most of the students around campus they will never be faced with an attack by an unsuspected criminal but if the situation arises then one of “those contraptions” may be the key to help.