Biola students feel safe on campus

  • December 16, 2010
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The doors are unlocked, and even if they are not, they are propped open.

“They were knocking on the door,” Tanner Michels, a freshman Horton resident said. “It was around two or three in the morning, so I held up my card to see if they had an ID. They nodded…caught the door and stumbled in.” The drunken men, who were not Biola students, were welcomed onto campus and into the Horton lobby.

Campus Safety at Biola University prides itself in “Excellence in Faith and Service,” but students often do not help them much in their efforts. Outside doors to dorms are held open for strangers, and doors leading directly into rooms are often left unlocked.

“If it’s the middle of the day and they look normal, sure, I’ll hold the door, no matter their age,” said Sarah Widlicka, a sophomore transfer student who also lives in Horton. “But if it’s at night and something seems awry, I ignore them.”

Students leave doors open and belongings out

Rachel Sornoso, a sophomore Hope resident, says she feels safe leaving her things in her dorm room and only locks her door when she goes to class. “There’s nothing more we can do, people are trusting and friendly,” Sornoso said.

“Campus safety makes me feel safe. Leaving the door open isn’t a problem,” sophomore Ashlyn Yetter, who lives in Hope, said.

Life at the edge of campus

For students like Lori Lusk, a freshman living in Sigma Chi, and Nathaniel Smith, a sophomore resident of Hart, living on the outskirts of campus isn’t really a problem.

“I’d feel the same safeness living anywhere else on campus. I don’t consider Hart any less safe,” Smith said. According to Smith, Campus Safety is continuously patrolling Hart dorm to make sure the students are safe.

“It’s kind of exciting to see Campus Safety walking through our halls,” said Smith. “They respond pretty seriously to situations.”

Although Lusk, an art major, frequently has to make the long journey from her dorm room to art classrooms, she said she isn’t afraid of the trip even at night.

“Well it’s college so there are always people out and about and that makes me feel much safer,” Lusk said.

Campus Safety responsive to specific situations

Some students agree that Campus Safety is doing a great job responding to situations. A friend of Rebecca Asplund, a freshman at Biola, was frightened that she was being stalked while running and was escorted off campus in order to keep her safe.

Campus Safety was quick to respond to another situation involving a friend of freshman Lori Lusk. “Every time my friend would go to chapel this guy would be there, she went to Campus Safety and got it straightened out,” Lusk said.

Crime rates decreasing

Campus Safety is working hard daily to improve the safety of the students and faculty alike, but some feel that there is more to be done.

“I feel safe. I think that this area is safe. Campus security is doing a good job, but could be doing more,” said Dorothy Rigby, a faculty member in the financial aid office.

In the past two months, many crimes have been logged on campus and in the surrounding blocks. According to Campus Safety’s crime logs the rates of robbery and burglary on campus have decreased since 2009.

Campus safety remaining vigilant

“Even if people come on campus and they don’t commit a crime, they can still be arrested if they have the intention to commit one,” said Justin Shelby, chief information officer for Campus Safety.

Shelby noted that Biola is not a completely public campus. “If a person doesn’t have specific business on campus they aren’t welcomed, said Shelby.

Campus Safety defines trespassing by two major things. The first being unauthorized access to the campus and the second would be an instance when a security officer asks a person to leave and they don’t comply.

Shelby said that Campus Safety is doing all they can to protect students including twenty-four hour patrol and cadets for parking enforcement.

But caution is still needed. “Make sure to be aware of your surroundings, especially when you’re alone at night. You don’t want to be alone or in a secluded place,” Shelby advised.

Reporting help from Ashley Antone, Amber Amaya, and Abbey Bennett

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Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000