• Public “Safety?”

    by  • September 12, 2012 • Features • 0 Comments

    By ELINA TARKAZIKIS

    Say the words “public safety” to any student on campus and I doubt you’ll get a good response. I have personally never heard of a positive public safety experience, nor have any of the many people I’ve asked.

    The goal of Ramapo’s campus patrol is to keep us safe, but are we really safer, or is life just made more difficult for us?

    I live in Laurel Hall and forgot my Ramapo ID in my dorm room. I pull up to the parking deck, unable to swipe in, and decide to push the button for assistance (that’s what it’s there for, right?) I’m immediately connected to Public Safety and explain that I forgot my card and am willing to provide all of my personal information for verification (in addition to the fact that the car registered under my name is visible on the camera). Of course, it can’t be that easy.

    I am told that students “get lazy and leave their cards” so I have to park in the commuter’s lot, an average walk of ten minutes from my room. Then, I’m told to go to my room, retrieve the ID, walk back to my car in the commuter’s lot and drive it to the deck and properly swipe in. Wait–WHAT?

    Just like that, parking has become about a half-hour task. In what way does the “laziness” of others keep me safe? If anything, it’s ruining my day and making me late for class.

    According to the Ramapo College website, the point of Public Safety is to respond to all complaints as promptly as possible and provide help in situations where people need assistance.

    Public Safety Vehicle/RAMAPO.EDU

    If I could re-write that portion of the website, it would read, “Public Safety spends obsessive amounts of time looking for students who could possibly be drinking alcohol and won’t actually help anyone when a problem arises.”

    If I’m dressed up late at night and walking on campus, I’m usually stopped by Public Safety (after slowly following me for a few minutes) and asked “if I’m ok” as they, in reality, are checking to see if I’m sober and can form sentences.

    In the same scenario, I can be walking on campus at the same time of night in sweats after a late night grocery run. I’ll be channeling Superwoman as I carry multiple bags looped through my arms and holding cases of water. I’ll drop a case, rip a bag, and try and get it all back together. Public Safety will drive by in this instance without hesitation and pull over for the loud probably-drunk girls in front of me in the tight dresses.

    Thanks for the help!

    Public safety doesn’t really care to assist students, and has no common courtesy.

    I asked Public Safety for an interview once for one of my classes, but was given a 15-minute rant as to no why one had time to answer three questions. Keep in mind, the response was longer than the actual answering-of-questions would have taken…

    In my final example, I should probably bring up a rough night my friend had last week. She was walking to Laurel Hall late at night from the College Park Apartments (two opposite sides of campus).

    She was being flirted with and followed by some boys who were being a little too friendly. She ignored them and kept walking (in the pouring rain, might I add). She stopped at a Public Safety car and explained her uncomfortable and pretty scary situation. The “officer” told her he wouldn’t give her a ride, but would drive behind her to see that she got to her room.

    Nope, this isn’t a joke. Public Safety went to the same location as she, following behind her, IN A STORM, rather than offering her a spot in the back seat (the very same spot they put drunk students- insert round of applause here).

    I can go on for hours, bringing up times like that of my friend Christina being left in a jammed elevator for about 45 minutes, but I don’t want to devote anymore of my precious time to our beloved Public Safety, who clearly doesn’t deserve the attention.

    Moral of the story- you’re on your own (unless you decide to have a sip of beer).

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