Before I arrived at Eastern University, I was under the impression it was one of the safest college campuses in the area. However, I completed a security audit of campus as an assignment for my senior seminar that told me otherwise. There are six major entry points on campus that have little to no security measures set in place, in addition to several lamp posts not having working light bulbs. The lack of security measures set in place on campus is astounding and makes me fear for the safety of my peers.
To start, let’s examine Eastern University’s original entrance by Doane. The only security measure in place there are the yellow posts placed in the middle of the lane to prevent cars from entering campus. However, anyone on foot could still enter campus between the gaps or by using the archway to the far left of the gate. There are no cameras, gates, lamp posts, or areas for anyone to check-in. Situated directly next to it is the parking lot to Doane Hall. Of course, all the residence halls are equipped with cameras and key card access points, but there are no external security features, particularly in the parking lots adjacent to the residence halls, such as gates, security cameras, or checkpoints.
On the other side of campus, there is an open bridge to campus from a public park. Again, there are no street lights, cameras, or gates to ensure student and staff member safety, despite this bridge being directly across from Kea-Guffin, Hainer, Gough and Gallup halls. The parking lot behind these halls also has no gate or a security checkpoint despite being connected to Eagle Road. Therefore, anyone could park their vehicles and walk around the campus without students or staff members being aware.
Another major entrance point to Eastern’s campus is located by the athletic fields and the gymnasium. While this entrance is much more secluded than others, there are still no lights, gates or keycard access points monitoring who enters campus and when. The only form of security that is sparingly provided is two or three students directing traffic during home games. Finally, we have the main entrance to Eastern’s campus. As we all may know, it has no gate, no security check-point, or keycard access to campus. Yet, this entrance to campus is connected to Eagle Road, and is just a few hundred feet from one of St. Davids’ busiest intersections. Still, Eastern prides itself on security features and student safety.
Let’s cut to the chase: Eastern University does not prioritize our safety. The most telling signs of this are the lack of security call-boxes, security gates and checkpoints. A number of my peers have expressed similar feelings. A peer who wishes to remain anonymous said, “my paranoid brain cannot take the lack of security here… We are a Criminal Minds episode waiting to happen.”. Considering that we have six entrances to campus that are obvious to the public and none have security features, I strongly agree with what my peer said.
For a university that centers their mission around faith, reason and justice to make such fraudulent claims about their campus and student safety is frustrating and suggests to the student body that they are not a priority. Eastern University must do better at securing campus and protecting the students who have chosen to study here.