• By Madelyn Sipola

Is safety on campus a priority?


When kids leave for college, they are put into the hands of the school and students rely on the university to keep them safe while away from home. It is important for the safety of students to be a top priority within universities.  

Coming from Rolling Meadows, IL to Conway, SC, I feel that my safety needs to be a great importance to Coastal, as I arrived here without measures to provide security for myself as a student. Coastal has clear guidelines on what to do if a threatening situation occurs on campus, such as bomb threats, active shooters, weather emergencies, and more. In addition to these guidelines, incoming students must also complete Alcohol Edu and sexual assault awareness programs before attending Coastal. 

When I came to Coastal in 2017, these programs helped me learn more about alcohol abuse and sexual assault. The content expands upon high school programming. These programs should continue at Coastal every year for incoming students to complete.  

Likewise, when I started working at Coastal, I was required to watch a series of videos pertaining to my job. The instructional videos reviewed how to drive a golf cart, how to properly climb a ladder, and more. Although these videos were helpful, the attendance of S.A.F.E training (Secure, Alert, Fight, and Escape), which teaches students how to respond in the case of an attack on campus, made me feel most prepared. This training is an interactive tool, and I learned how to utilize my surroundings to defend myself. Although this was mandatory for my job, I recommend all students attend to become properly educated on active shootings.  

The school posts safety guidelines throughout campus, but the greatest need for safety is in student housing. University housing mandates freshmen and sophomores to live on campus in either the freshmen dorms or University Place, so it is vitally important for students to feel safe in their new homes.

University housing made me feel safe living there. Of course, since its college, there’s going to be drunk people doing dumb things, but nothing too major happened to me here. My one complaint is that, when filing for a roommate change, I did not receive a response for University housing for two months. Even after long wait times, requests may be denied.

After my request was approved, I was permitted to move out, and I moved to Chanticleer. The dorm change process seemed overly complicated and was not solved efficiently. If a situation were to arise that was worse than the situation I faced, I would hope the problem would be solved more quickly.  

Coastal does well publicizing their safety procedures and guidelines. Coastal isn't directly at fault when incidents occur, rather the student body’s lack of awareness and knowledge about responses to unfortunate circumstances renders them defenseless. If I did not work at Coastal, I would not know all that I have learned from training, as some are only available to campus workers. An awareness of these guidelines is important in order to know how to respond in the event of an emergency.

For more information on the emergency guidelines, please visit https://www.coastal.edu/emergency/emergencyprocedures/ and for university housing policies, visit https://www.coastal.edu/housing/faqs/policiesandprocedures/.  

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