Students react to security issues

Jason Blog and Tyler Gerwig are both Texas Wesleyan seniors, but they share something else: feeling safe while on campus.

“I definitely have a sense of security here at school,” said Gerwig, a senior finance major. “My first year here I had a sense of vulnerability around campus because there were no gates surrounding the perimeter, but now that they have the perimeter covered there is a great sense of safety for me.”

Plog, also a senior finance major, says being at Wesleyan used to feel dangerous, but not any more.

“I feel like the security does a really good job of covering the school and it seems like they are constantly working around the clock,” he said. “A few years ago, this place didn’t feel that safe, but now it feels like home.”

With two security heads with extensive police backgrounds, the plan now is to transition Wesleyan’s campus security into campus police, according to Tim Allen, a current Pelican Bay police officer and Wesleyan’s contract account manager of security.

“We ultimately plan to move our location to the bookstore. It is bigger and we can operate better off Rosedale,” Allen said. “At first it was just Chris [Beckrich, director of campus safety and security] here. Me and Chris work really well here and he asked me to join the force here, and it seemed like an opportune job for me.”

Allen said he was motivated to join the campus security force because Beckrich had a plan to turn the campus security into a campus police force.

“Almost every college in the country has a police force on campus,” Allen said. “Tarrant County, TCU, UTA, to name a few, so we ultimately want to turn this into a campus police and that sounded like something I would love to be part of.”

One major difference in security on the Wesleyan campus this semester is that the time that gates remain open has been reduced from 35 to 15 seconds. Allen said this was done because two or three people were hitting the gate each day with their cars while they were leaving campus.

“People were hitting the gate trying to squeeze out behind one another and it just was becoming a big problem for us,” Allen said, “so we felt that reducing the time would make people more cautious of rushing in and out.”

Students, however, have mixed emotions about the gate change.

“I feel like people are going to hit the gate no matter what and now they are going to get hit more because people are going to be rushing behind other cars and maybe even cause accidents,” said junior mass communication major and golfer Leo Mathard said.