Resident hall staff take initiative to help maintain campus safety
We tend to feel pretty safe in the cocoon we call campus, but who is it that keeps it that way?
Of course, we have a police force, but that is often not the first resource on campus.
Those who live in residence halls resort to their resident assistant when they have safety concerns.
The RA then, depending on the severity, either calls the police or the resident director immediately.
Also, there are desk assistants. We have all seen them when we come in late on the weekend.
Those who sit behind the desk to make sure that people enter and leave the residence halls safely and that no one suspicious can enter. It is no wonder, with so many safety resources in one’s own housing, that one would feel safe living on campus.
“We maintain safety on campus by checking keys at the lobby so that no one who shouldn’t be on campus is, we also sign in visitors for the same reason,” DA David Shaffer said.
“When people are disruptive or destructive we have the authority to call resident assistants and resident directors, even the police to maintain safety,” Shaffer said.
So entering the residence halls, the first line of defense is the desk assistant.
The second line, however, is the residence assistant. Many people are misinformed about the role of a resident assistant.
“People think we’re trying to bust them for alcohol, but in actuality it’s more about making sure you haven’t consumed so much alcohol that you’re gonna die on us.
“Of course there is university policy involved, but the main concern is alcohol poisoning. We hung flyers around informing about the symptoms of alcohol poisoning to keep students aware,” resident assistant Chris Baker said
Residence life enforces university policy and the staff has all the contact information for resources on campus.
Counseling services, for example, always have an on-call counselor, and the resident assistants can get students in touch with them in emergency situations.
Shippensburg University Police also work closely with residence life. Throughout the semester, the police department puts on programs with residence life such as RAD, rape aggression defense classes, and engraving personal items.
There are so many lines of defense to protect the student body on campus, but the first line is the resident assistants, and resident directors.