SG Notes: Public Safety assessment to solidify campus safety

Christine Lee, News Editor

For the past year, Wilkes’ office of public safety has been undergoing an assessment of its services by an outside firm, Margolis, Healy and Associates.

An initial assessment was started in January and concluded at the end of last year and a second one will continue this into this week.

At the Student Government meeting Sept. 4, President Patrick Leahy announced that some of the changes being made include new equipment, squad cars, uniforms and method of deployment.

He added that the office is in the process of hiring new officers and an executive director. He said these changes were the result of feedback received from the campus community to  the firm.

Addressing a question from Off-Campus Council President Catelyn Sofio regarding the issue of safety to students off-campus, he said “we recognize that our campus is bleeding into the surrounding community.”

At the Sept. 11 meeting, members of Student Government got to hear more about the assessment and give their input on campus security when Vice President of Finance and General Loren Prescott and Aaron Graves, an associate with Margolis, Healy and Associates appeared at the meeting.

Graves identified the main findings of the first assessment as the presence of officers on campus and training has been minimal, leading to a tendency for members of the campus community to rely on local police to solve incidents that occur in the vicinity of campus and a lack of understanding in the campus community on emergency preparedness.

Graves and Prescott allowed members to give their input on public safety, with some again expressing concerns about safety in the immediate off-campus vicinity.

The budget was presented as follows: All College: $33,000, Conference: $5,000, General: $21,000, Spirit: $2,000, bringing the Student Government total to $61,000.

The budget did not change at the meeting Sept. 4.

At the Sept. 11 meeting, the budget was presented as follows: All College: $12,000, Conferences: $5,000, General Funds: $20,000, Spirit: $2,000, bringing the Student Government total to $40,000.

Interim Director of Alumni Bridget Husted and Interim Assistant Director of Alumni Mary Simmons asked for a fund request of $500 for 50 student tickets for Homecoming Weekend reunions that includes food at the Aug. 28 meeting, which was passed at the Sept. 4 meeting 21-0-6.

Representatives Kayla Rooney, Olivia Questore and Corresponding Secretary Kaitlyn Wolfe asked for a request of $23,000 to cover Student Government Homecoming activities, including the dance, T-shirts and crowns for the Homecoming king and queen and pep rally at the Aug. 28 meeting. It was passed at the Sept. 4 meeting 21-22-13.

President Ian Foley asked for $5,000 to help the office of Student Development cover the expenses of Club Day at the Sept. 4 meeting. It was passed at the Sept. 11 meeting 26-0-0. Vice President Taylor Moyer asked for $2,000 to cover the costs of Fall Fest.

At the Aug. 28 meeting, the Operations Committee announced that the brick work on Slocum Hall was completed and paper towel dispensers had been replaced.

At the Sept. 4 meeting, they announced that the Chevy Traverse brakes have been fixed, that Public Safety is planning to hire three former police officers and dispatchers and they are planning on getting new Ford Explorers for campus.

The Academic Planning committee announced at the Sept. 4 meeting that biology  professor Ken Klemow has assumed the role of chair and associate professor of education Mary Kropiewnicki has assumed the role of vice chair.

At the Sept. 11 meeting, the Operations Committee said the furnace in Waller Hall is being repaired, the televisions are being worked on in Fortinsky Hall and renovations on Slocum Hall are coming along.

The Food Committee announced that Dining Services is looking closely at late-night dining options.

Student Government meets at 6 p.m. each week in the Miller Room of the Henry Student Center.