Letter to the Editor: Students need to promote a safe environment

By Bari Bellard

Senior Theatre Major

[email protected]

In response to last week’s articles about front desk operations and safety, I wanted to share a counterpoint. I am a senior, have lived on campus for four years and I have worked as a Conference Assistant this past summer with the department of Res Life. Residential life provides an opportunity for us to live and grow in a community of our peers. Different from most apartment complexes outside of a university setting, our communities are led by full time professional Community Directors and Resident Assistants who work to support the mental health, social well-being and overall wellness of resident students. As members of these communities, it is up to us, the residents, the building staff and consistent support from LUPD, to ensure the safety of the building.

The Loyola University Police Department is exactly that, a Police Department. If you feel unsafe for any reason, call them and they will do everything in their power to provide their mission of education, safety and security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are available to discuss how you personally can help protect the pack at their headquarters attached to Biever Hall.

Some facts were left out of last week’s article, and I felt it was important to let students know the following: the front door of each building is locked 24 hours a day and can only be unlocked with an I.D. card of a student residing in that particular building. The only way someone who is not a resident of the building can gain access is if a resident of the building swipes their card and letsthem in. If you bring a friend with you into the building, they are considered a guest. If you let a non-resident in, that’s called tailgating or piggy-backing and it’s your responsibility to try and prevent that.

Other safety and prevention efforts you might not be aware of are that LUPD officers conduct rounds in the building at least three times in a 24 hour period, and Resident Assistants complete three social and safety rounds during their duty shift, which runs 5 p.m.-8 a.m. on week days and 24 hours on weekends. Other myth busters worth mentioning are that when a DA is present at the desk, you are required to check in your guest before heading to your room, and if you are locked out, you can actually call the main office from your cell phone or the outside call box and someone will assist you (the number is posted on the box).

Safety on campus and in the residence halls cannot be simplified to the presence of 24 hour desk assistants. I believe that every community member should be held responsible for the safety of the building, including: monitoring who is coming into the building, locking their rooms, apartments and suites, and communicating with LUPD so that they can follow through with their mission.