With Public Safety currently in the hands of interim director Timothy Alben, the results from the November student survey are in.
Headed by senior Maggie O’Rourke, a member of the Student Government Association (SGA), the survey, consisting of 26 questions, was sent out to gauge students’ feelings about Public Safety and safety on campus.
“[The survey] was fueled by the students,” said O’Rourke, who created the questions. “Their passion towards safety and what Public Safety does for campus really drove this survey. I was pretty proud of the turn out and I felt that the students’ answers really provided insight.”
The survey collected 590 anonymous responses.
Of the findings Springfield students expressed mixed views on safety in general. On campus during the day, 474 students felt safe, but at night, unsurprisingly, that feeling of safety diminished, with only 231 feeling safe.
The safe feeling also seems to shrink as students travel off campus with 359 students stating they felt unsafe outside of the campus bubble.
“I think students feel less safe further off-campus because it is not a familiar area to them,” commented Lt. Kellie Cournoyer. “The officers patrol the community around our campus to ensure the safety of our students during the evening.”
“We all work very hard to ensure our community’s safety, stay current with update trainings, and genuinely care about the community we protect and serve with pride.”
The positioning of the Public Safety building also seemed to draw some negative responses mainly for its location on campus. Out of the 590 students, 339 felt their location was not ideal. Cournoyer said that although it is further off campus than its previous spot (the basement of Marsh) the newer Public Safety building provides all departments a centralized place to grow and serve the community.
Cournoyer also went on to say that three, sometimes four, units are patrolling campus at all times with foot and bike patrols out throughout the fall and spring.
Overall protection and officer ratings trended towards the positive on more than one occasion. Public Safety officers received praise for their approachability and their accessibility. A total of 361 students said Public Safety is easy to contact while another 424 said they felt comfortable contacting Public Safety at any time.
What might be the most interesting of all is that a majority of students had yet to even contact public safety throughout their experience with 324 saying they had never encountered them before.
Two of the most non-safety issues addressed in the comments (with passion to rival those of any sports franchise) focused on parking and the shuttle services. The focus of the parking complaints centered on ticketing, with 277 students saying they wish they were more informed.
“We have two shuttles that travel in a 20 minute loop throughout the weekend but students must remember, they aren’t taxis, they are students,” Cournoyer said. “Parking is all up to space available. We understand that [parking] is tough.”
Despite being in the midst of a Police Chief change over, Public Safety has a foundation to build on thanks in part to the survey results.
“It is hard to make change but [Public Safety] is proud of the results,” said O’Rourke. “It serves as a good building block for them.”
According to both Cournoyer and O’Rourke, Public Safety has shared the survey with other colleges throughout the area to help build up safety on colleges everywhere.