AU students and faculty react to campus safety measures

By Emily Boyle

Discover the World of Communication student Naima Fonrose from Laurel, Maryland observes a blue phone emergency system on campus. Photo by Emily Boyle

American University students, staff and summer program attendees expressed both confidence and apprehension about campus safety in interviews this month.

Cassidy Luciano, a rising junior at AU, said she felt comfortable on campus with the various safety measures implemented. Though Luciano has never seen the blue “emergency” towers around campus in use, she has felt comfortable knowing they are present.

Luciano lives off campus but lived in Anderson Hall during her freshman year. While she liked having someone to check IDs at the front desk, Luciano said “sometimes I think they were a little relaxed,” attributing the laxness in the security to being in a “big city.”

Megan Piccirillo, a rising senior at AU, had no complaints about security on campus. Piccirillo noted she consistently finds public safety officers present, front desk monitors in dorms checking IDs and new technology frequently being introduced to the University.

Samantha Dumas, 19, a student at AU, has generally felt safe during her time on campus. Despite this, Dumas said that occasionally, “people are doing unsafe things behind closed doors.” Dumas did feel that resident advisers are “on top” of keeping dorms safe.

Michael Allen, an AU police officer for eight years, thinks public safety at AU has improved over the years, with many new technologies around the campus being implemented to maximize security measures. He pointed out a shelf of pamphlets that read “Personal Safety Apps.”

One of the key safety apps listed was the “Rave Guardian App.” According to Allen, the app connects students with AU police, allows tip texting and sets a safety timer for students traveling between locations on campus.

Assistant Director of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Regina Curran believes that AU’s public safety is improving drastically.

Curran said 14 new security officers were hired on campus. Curran said there will be a “greater presence” of officers all around AU, hopefully ensuring all students and faculty feel safe around the clock.

Curran additionally explained the function of the blue phones on campus, which “automatically call the dispatcher” and find immediate help for students in emergencies.