Editorial: Campus Safety and the student body


We call upon Campus Safety to be more transparent in its actions. We also call upon students to be more vigilant and communicative with Campus Safety. Though we understand that certain information must legally remain confidential, the department and the student body need to share crucial details with one another about safety threats in a more timely manner. Campus Safety’s mission — as stated on its website — is “to serve the Occidental College community with compassion, as excellence and integrity.” But it is our job as students to assist them in that effort.

Recent instances of trespassing on our campus call to attention the need to be observant on a campus with no exclusionary security measures. Just last week, an individual walked onto our campus and masturbated in multiple locations within Newcomb Hall. Many students heard about the incident through social media before they received an email from Campus Safety. We must communicate more effectively between parties to ensure our campus safety.

Our safety is dependent not only on the actions of our officers but also the actions of students, faculty, staff and others. In the future, we must remember that we are on an open campus in the middle of a big city and because of this we have to take certain precautions such as making sure doors are not propped open. We also must alert Campus Safety even if we have the slightest inclination that something feels off. In return, Campus Safety must be available to listen and respond to any and all student concerns.

Campus Safety is not a police force. The department is bound by the college’s disclosure policies. Yet, we at the Weekly would like to see more transparency from Campus Safety about its policies in handling trespassers and people of suspect. We invite Campus Safety to be more communicative with students through written policies sent to students, faculty and staff. It would also be beneficial to increase the number of town hall meetings and a promise to respond to student concerns promptly.

Our hard-working officers are doing what they can so that we may feel secure. We, as students, should be able to come to campus and feel safe. We know that Campus Safety is here to protect us, but they cannot ensure our safety without student partnership. We must also take accountability for ourselves.


  1. As part of the response to the Occupation demands, Campus Safety was expected to complete a full review and revision of their procedure and policies (especially in regard to student-campo relations, building monitoring/security/patrol, and response to drug and alcohol incidents) to be presented to the community after approval by Amos Himmelstein VP of Finance. As far as I have been made aware, there has been little to no movement on this issue outside of a handful of Campus Safety Advisory Committee meetings last semester (I have heard fewer than 3) the minutes of which have not been shared with the wider campus community. I find this lack of communication very concerning considering Campus Safety’s belief that students need to know the FACTS before we request support/change.


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