Sept. 11. Aurora. Newtown. Boston Marathon. All of these terms will be stuck in the heads of many Americans for the rest of their lives.
They have been the settings of some of the most horrific terroristic crimes in the past 12 years.
With all of these acts of terror happening much more frequently, America is now forced to question the safety and security of its own citizens.
No one can simply go out to see the hottest blockbuster of the summer, go to school or enjoy a marathon anymore without having the feeling that at any moment, something could go wrong.
With all of these recent terroristic acts, especially the most recent Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, security is skyrocketing in airports, tourist attractions in Washington, D.C., and at sporting events.
Even after the Newtown, Conn., massacre last December, people are still heatedly debating the use of guns in public schools.
No place on Earth is without crime, but now with a string of bombings and shootings within less than a year of each other, the time may have come to say, “Enough is enough.”
When a Shippensburg University student hears about this string of attacks, he or she rightfully thinks of his or her own safety on campus. Overall, students seem to be pleased with safety on campus.
“I think they do a pretty good job. They do a good job with emailing and texting emergencies,” counseling grad student Natalie Liston said.
“I think the campus is pretty safe. I’ve never felt unsafe. In any of the buildings there are always procedures for emergencies, and that just makes it better.” communication/journalism senior Samantha Stambaugh said.
“Basically, I think it’s entirely safe; I’ve never felt unsafe at all,” said Senior psychology major Ben Martin.
University Chief of Police Cytha D. Grissom also feels confident about the campus’ safety.
“We work very hard to make this the safest living and learning environment possible. And I know we do a good job of that. We have a lot of things in place for students’ safety, faculty and staff safety, so I do consider this a very safe place to live and learn and work,” Grissom said.
However, Grissom, like anyone else, believes that there is always room for improvement.
“We’re always trying to update our methods or technology. We’re always trying to move forward and increase the safety. I definitely think that if the need arises, we can heighten security,” Grissom said.
“We have a lot of things that we’ve been trained to do, that we’ve written and we’ve studied our protocols and practices and things that we would be responding appropriately, should something happen.”
But the safety and security of SU’s campus should not just be limited to the responsibilities of the police department.
Grissom pointed out several ways that students themselves could heighten safety and security on campus.
“I think one of the biggest things that students could do is be aware of your surroundings,” she said.
“Don’t walk around with your cell phone plastered to your ear or texting. Look around you. What’s going on? Who’s around you? What are the circumstances? What’s the environment? Just being aware is a major component of being responsible for your safety.”
One of the biggest problem areas as far as safety and security go for Grissom lies in the residence halls.
“Don’t just swipe the doors, stand there and let everyone come in behind you, because there are people who don’t belong in that residence hall. If your card is programmed to get you in, that’s fine; it should get you in, but it shouldn’t get anybody else in,” she said.
“We can have the best safety system in the world, and we cannot program things like that,” Grissom said.
“It can be defeated just by a student standing there with the door open. The system is only as good as the student allows it to be.”