This semester, Safety Services is implementing changes after multiple alerts regarding suspicious behavior across the campus.
These alerts occurred early in the semester, leaving some students concerned.
“I am honestly more afraid than I was last school year,” said Veronica Salcedo, graduate education major. “I especially am more cautious around school and being more aware of my surroundings.”
Incidents on the Health Science Campus (HSC) and in the Village have involved trespassers who gained access to campus. In the incidents on the HSC, female students have reported a male subject who was caught recording at the top of the bathroom stalls.
In the Village apartment assault, a male student reported that he heard a knock that would eventually lead to a male subject entering the apartment and physically assaulting the student.
John Freese, director of Safety Services, said that the school prioritizes safety.
“CBU is a unique campus that is not open to the public,” Freese said. “Everyone who enters must have a legitimate reason for being here.”
Freese said that officers patrol the campus 24 hours a day to make sure that everyone who is on campus is supposed to be there.
“Our intention is to be transparent with our community about crime that occurs on or near our campus so we can all be aware and take steps to protect each other,” Freese said.
In light of the incidents, Freese said Safety Services is taking steps to ensure safety.
“We provide high-visibility patrols and we are leveraging new social media efforts to help make students aware of our services,” Freese said. “CBU is located in a busy metropolitan city. Crime that occurs near campus is a concern for my team and we closely monitor incidents in our area.”
Since the most recent incident, Safety Services has also taken steps to secure the HSC, such as requiring card swipes to enter the bathrooms on the HSC and increasing the presence of safety personnel on the HSC.
Safety Services also encourages students to employ the “see something, say something” method by reporting any suspicious activity they witness.
Freese said he believes that CBU can work together to be successful in preventing crime by being a community partner and quickly reporting issues of concern.
“Safety Services is committed to messaging students with our Safety Services alert emails to educate about crime on or near campus,” Freese said. “Those emails will include safety tips to help students take steps to protect themselves. We use emergency text alerts to notify students of immediate safety concerns on or near campus and those alerts include directions on how to stay safe.”
Emmanuel Elias, freshman biology major, is glad Safety Services has responded to the incidents, but would like to see more.
“I feel good at the fact that they keep us updated with safety alerts when something serious occurs,” Elias said. “However, a lot more safety security measurements can be taken to ensure protection and prevention.”
As Safety Services works to ensure safety for students, staff and faculty, Freese said they want to remind CBU of their strong partnership with the Riverside Police Department, which led to the successful identification and arrest of the suspects associated with the recent crimes on campus.