The rising cost of tuition and shrinking acceptance rates are no longer the sole worry when applying to college. As parents and students engage in the college process, they are facing an even bigger, more basic problem. College campuses are often portrayed as secure and serene places, but how safe are they really? Tragic school shootings such as Columbine, Virginia Tech and the more recent Sandy Hook, have brought awareness to the many campus safety risks.
LIU Post is an open campus due to the many commuter students and faculty traveling to and from classes. This also means that any person can come onto to campus. The Department of Public safety works with the Old Brookville and Old Westbury Police Departments and the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management to help keep the LIU campus safe. In order to do this, the department bases its safety procedures on the guidelines of the United States Department of Homeland Security. Due to the increased concern of campus shootings, public safety has posted the campus firearms and weapon policy on the college website stating that anyone in possession will be subject to disciplinary action and potential criminal prosecution.
Public Safety has its own full-time staff which includes 22 officers that are trained, licensed and certified by the state of New York. The officers patrols the campus 24 hours a day to look for any suspicious activity that could put the campus community in danger.
A place where learning and the free flow of ideas occur can sometimes be the most dangerous. Students are inclined to feel safe in their classrooms and dorms, but there is a false sense of security. Most campus crimes are committed by other students. The LIU Post website indicates that a total of 8,700 students attend LIU Post, with approximately 1,900 of those students living in residence halls. Gabriella Ianiro, journalism major, said, “Our school has so many commuters so the buildings are all open. No one can truly monitor who comes on our campus and what their intentions are.”
Even though daytime access to the academic buildings is unrestricted, residence hall entrances are locked 24 hours a day. Students must use their LIU cards to gain access to residence halls.
The various dangers of college are always lingering in the minds of parents as they send their children off to school. Public safety has taken many steps to keep campus safe. The college emergency alert system is able to notify students instantly via text message and LIU email account in the case of an emergency. This system proved to be very efficient and useful during Hurricane Sandy. It kept students constantly informed about important school closings and delays. The LIU Post campus also has emergency sirens and loudspeakers which are outdoor warning systems. There are four on campus located on the men’s soccer field, Brookville residence hall, sculpture building parking lot and the roof of the Tilles Center.
With multiple violent incidents occurring in schools and universities, students’ safety while at school has gained national attention. Still the enriching experience of campus life attracts millions of students every year. While college campuses seem like idyllic places, not even manicured lawns and ivy-covered walls can prevent unfortunate circumstances from occurring.