There have been alterations to security procedures and rules in addition to those regarding policy and staffing over the past year at William Jewell College. This is the third installment in the Hilltop Monitor’s series highlighting these shifts. Landon Jones, Campus Safety Director, explained what the changes are and the motivation behind them.
Jones first provided an overview of Campus Safety’s structure and system. The College has a partnership with Titan Protection, the company with training and oversight expertise that trains and provides our officers. They are paid through this outside company rather than through Jewell. This does not mean that Jewell administration has no authority over them.
“Direct oversight and accountability is provided throughout [by] the Site Supervisor and myself,” Jones said.
The primary roles of the officers, at least one of whom is always on duty with more available at peak times and during campus events, are responding to incidents and assisting students, faculty and staff as needed. All officers are trained in first aid and de-escalation of emergent situations.
Jewell students received an email at the start of the 2017-2018 school year notifying them that locked hours in certain buildings would be restricted and that there would be more cameras installed in order to increase campus safety. The Pryor Learning Commons (PLC) is to be locked from the Quad 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. on weekends. The other PLC doors are to be locked 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. during the week and for the entirety of the weekend. As Jones explained, this change will not impact student access but when they have to use their I.D. cards to enter.
Campus Safety is still in the process of new camera installment. This will largely be in parking areas. The Monitor asked about any singular incident or set of incidents that incited this addition and the source of funding for it.
“These cameras will be used primarily to investigate any incidents on campus. These changes are part of our general ongoing efforts for safety on campus,” Jones said.
Failure to have a valid parking permit, parking in an unauthorized area or parking against traffic flow all mean a fine of $50. Parking in a disabled spot without the proper permit or driving the wrong way mean fines of $100. The only change in monetary punishment regarding driving is the new crackdown on speeding. Being caught driving above the campus speed limit, which is 15 miles per hour, will exact a fine of $100.
As of now, Campus Safety has not invested in speed guns and will rely on officer discernment to ticket “drivers that are clearly driving recklessly or at an unsafe speed.”
Some students have expressed discontent over this additional possibility of monetary stress for a rule that is easy to break unintentionally.
“The rule changes made by Campus Safety are overbearing and impractical…Fifteen miles per hour is the speed I go over the speed bumps on campus. If they’re concerned about students walking up the fraternity circle they should build a sidewalk as many students have asked for,” said Connor Foote, junior political science major.
Jones explained that speeding has always been officially against campus law.
“The fine reinforces that safety for pedestrians and drivers is taken seriously on campus. The intent is to encourage drivers to slow down and ensure a safe campus for pedestrians and drivers,” Jones said.
The policy shifts and additions are part of an overall attempt to keep the College consistently improving.
“We see these changes as incremental improvements to various areas of campus as part of our overall efforts to continually improve safety,” Jones said.
Photos by Christina Kirk.