Photo by Amy Rosenheim

Campus Safety officers are people too

Taylor Knudson /// Opinion Editor

Chris Crocker, a timeless and important American icon, once screamed, “Leave Britney alone!” as he rolled himself into a ball of passion and panic in his mascara and tear-stained sheets. I have often identified with this two minute YouTube clip since it was released in 2007. I frequently reference Crocker’s intense and powerful words when defending celebrities or other people embroiled in controversy, similar to how one would cite other inspirational historical figures like Martin Luther King Jr. or Mohandas Gandhi. Crocker’s words yet again resonate with me when discussing student sentiment toward Campus Safety. Yik Yak was abuzz last weekend with complaints about Campus Safety.

“Yo f*ck Campo, can’t believe they’re taking away Nowhere,” an outspoken Yakker (Yikker? Yakee? Yikyer?) said in response to the removal of a popular smoke spot. Post after post flooded the feed with hate for Campus Safety only broken up by “Girl seeking boy to cuddle me and touch my butt” posts. While I understand the knee-jerk reaction of frustration toward the removal of these areas, the continual and blatant disdain for Campus Safety is unfair.

Campus Safety does an incredible amount of great work for the Lewis and Clark community. One of the most striking examples is its role in dealing with medical emergencies. Campus Safety officers  are first responders in scenarios ranging from a cut on the finger to alcohol poisoning. They lead EMTs to the scene, deliver basic first aid and provide “a voice of calm and helpful assessment,” according to Campus Safety Officer Nick Mobley.

A less utilized but equally significant duty of Campus Safety is their safety escort service. Students can call 503-768-7777 at anytime and have a Campus Safety officer escort them anywhere.

“Students don’t take advantage of this nearly enough… I don’t care if it’s just from Watzek Library to J.R. Howard Hall, or you just want the company of a dashing Campus Safety officer… It is one of our higher priorities to make students feel safe,” Mobley said.

Perhaps one of the most important jobs Campus Safety has on campus is a role as its interaction with LC community. Many Campus Safety officers attend events on campus.

“I go to poetry slams and I’m planning on going to the Spring Awakening, we also have casual interactions just talking to students at the DSA’s… they keep me young and hip-ish.” Mobley said.

Even in times of “policy enforcement,” Campus Safety officers believe these experiences should be thought of as learning and growth opportunities for students, and not just an opportunity for Campo to take students’ “DRUGZ,” as one Yakker put it.  Many officers even sit down with students after the event to discuss what happened over coffee.

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