On March 10, ECC- Student Development sent a school-wide email addressing new measures the school is taking to increase campus security. According to the ECC Development press release, the Board of Trustees approved a $4 per credit hour security fee for students enrolled in on-campus classes after reviewing a school-wide student survey. The Cornerstone spoke with Shelli Allen, Vice President of Student Development and Mark Eaton, Director of Facilities and Grounds to discuss security changes and programs on campus.
According to the East Central College Campus Safety Survey, 45% of students were in favor of a $5 per credit hour fee to enhance campus safety. As the Board of Trustees approved a $4 fee, students should expect new changes on campus in the fall.
“The $4 per credit hour increase will be solely dedicated to safety and security. The college has made arrangements with the city of Union to provide two full time police officers on our campus. We will provide law enforcement support for day and evening classes. As the schedules have not been clearly defined we will most likely have an officer on campus from 7:00 am until 11:00 pm Monday through Thursday. As a result of having no evening classes on Fridays we are still determining how these hours will be used. We have discussed several options but we are still making considerations for these hours,” Eaton said “The increase will also be used for other security measures such as access control, wireless PA system, mass emergency notification, and expansion of our CCTV system. We have been working on many of these systems and plans for quite some time and these funds will allow us the opportunity to bring several of these systems together for total integration.”
For students who feel uneasy about firearms on campus, Eaton said that students shouldn’t feel unsafe.
- Stay alert to your surrounding
- Stay in areas with lots of people
- Tell at least one person where you’re going and when you should return
- Lock your car doors — whether you are in the car, or when you leave it
- Try to stay in well-lit areas, use well-lit paths, and park your car near lighting
- Walk in pairs or a group
- Contact security for an escort if you feel particularly concerned
- Save the numbers for 911 and campus security (636-368-2183) in your cell phone so that you can dial quickly in case of an emergency
“These individuals will be duly trained and sworn experienced police officers. At the beginning of the semester it may be one officer to start due to the fact that this year Union PD will be hiring and training new officers. It takes several weeks to train an officer so we will be working closely with them to expedite our officers,” Eaton said.
While there are many changes to come, many programs such as ECC Alert and Student Incident Reporting will obtain their presence on campus. Student Incident Reporting is a service that provides assistance to students struggling with educational, domestic, and emotional issues.
“We need to do a better job of making students aware of the Student Incident Reporting system and the work that the Behavioral Intervention Team does on campus. I hope to work with our VP of Marketing to get more information out to students to encourage an ‘if you see something, say something’ state of mind, as well as with our Student Activities Coordinator to provide programming that involves the members of our Behavioral Intervention Team,” Allen said.
East Central College is devoted to providing students with the safest learning environment possible. “Campus safety is everyone’s responsibility. No matter how safe individuals feel, I would still recommend the following (on campus, or anywhere), “ Allen said.