The 10 new emergency phones being placed around campus are a great improvement to Texas Wesleyan’s security measures.
The administration is recognizing the concerns of students, especially at a time when safety should be the top concern on campus.
While these phones should have been placed on campus years ago, the efforts made by Wesleyan to ensure student safety have grown considerably in the last year.
There are still worries, however, about the response time by security if the emergency phones are used, as well as currently not having armed security on campus.
Having unarmed security responding to an emergency would not be very beneficial to a student in danger, especially if the attacker has a gun.
However, Wesleyan is in the process of bringing three armed officers to campus, which is a huge step. The officers should be able to have cars when an emergency is taking place on campus.
If Wesleyan only provides these new officers with golf carts or bikes, some of the emergency phones would be almost moot.
For instance, one of the phones is going to be placed by the Thad Smotherman Theatre, which is located on the opposite side of the campus from the security office. To get to the pole quickly, the officer responding would either have to be close by or drive a car from the security office.
The response time should be approximately 30 seconds to help ensure that the student does not get seriously injured. An officer riding a bike or driving a golf cart would take too long.
As long as an armed officer can show up within 30 seconds, the emergency phones are a great addition to the protection of students and allows them to have some peace of mind.
In addition, Wesleyan should consider placing an emergency phone along Wesleyan Street for students who are walking back to their dorms. Students would have to fight through a fence or run all the way down the street to get to an emergency phone if they were by the Nurse Anesthesia building or parking lot I.
Wesleyan should be applauded for the continuous improvement of campus safety, which includes hiring Sunstates Security, installing cameras, providing better lighting and upgrading fences.
Wesleyan still needs to make improvements, such as lighting parking lot U.
The administration should also consider proactively educating students on the surrounding areas of Wesleyan, especially for students who live on campus. As of right now, this is only briefly touched on during orientation.
Because Wesleyan is located in a high crime rate area, the university needs to equip students with more knowledge of unsafe areas and how to handle a crisis situation off campus.
While most students know to call 911, the current Fort Worth police response time is nine minutes and 45 seconds, according to an article on WFAA.com. The time is up 50 seconds from last year.
Educating students on how to handle life-threatening situations in the surrounding areas of Wesleyan could help save a student’s life.
Overall, Wesleyan has done a great job in their efforts to improve safety. The security team and the administration are continually working to ensure the safety of students and their work has not gone unnoticed.