by Rachel Terzo
Campus safety is one of many attributes to a student's college career.
Al Collins, the head of WVU Parkersburg's campus security, has seven security guards to help him maintain a tight level of security on campus. Security guards also work beside the Parkersburg Police and Wood County Sherriff's department once a year for police training. Collins said that the security guards are his “eyes and ears” to incidents that may occur on campus.
A number of students had similar concerns regarding their safety at school. Freshman Kristen Sheppard said, “I think it would be nice if there was someone patrolling the parking lot in the evenings, or all the time for that matter, but especially in the evenings. I'm worried about people being in the parking lot at night.”
Cassandra Mills also had a similar quarrel. “I feel pretty safe on campus, but think cameras in the parking lot would be a good addition to the security,” she says.
What a lot of new and even seasoned students may not know is that the campus has two cameras in the lower parking lot, the Caperton center lot and in the Workforce and Community Education building.
Emergency buttons are located on the middle pole in the upper and lower parking lots. If a student presses the button in the event of an emergency, 911 is instantly notified.
Cameras are also located in the Early Learning Center, and a security guard is on campus 24/7 patrolling the lots and the buildings.
Sophomore Jessica Cross was also concerned about the lack of camera security. “I think they should put surveillance cameras in the lounge area,” she said
Collins stated that installing more cameras throughout the campus is “a timely and costly process. Slowly but surely we'll have more cameras, as soon as our budget allows us to.”
Students are urged to browse the Jeanne Clery report, or better known as the Crime Statistics Report, located on WVU Parkersburg's website under the campus safety portion. Every college that receives federal funding is required to have this report available for the public to view. The Clery report covers the past three years of incidents. Collins pointed out that the campus is “one of the safest in the nation” according to the Cleary reports, past and present.
The campus police encourage students to report any incidents they see, regardless of whether or not the student thinks the incident is trivial or harmless. “Thousands of sets of eyes work better than two, so please report any incident you see and be vigilant. We want everyone to be safe,” Collins said.