How safe do WPU students feel?

WPU students are often told that safety is a priority at William Peace University, but just how safe do the students feel as they live out the daily routine of college life?
Opinons on campus safety are mixed among both residents and commuters.
From the perspective of freshman Victoria Perez, safety used to not be an issue whatsoever last semester. However, she says her feeling changed this semester after the relocation of the smoking spot from in front of Davidson to the back of Ross, where she lives.
“I am not going to endanger myself to follow rules,” said Perez.
And with the rise of local crimes, such as the most recent break-in and assult of an Oakwood couple, she worries even more about her safety.
“How am I supposed to protect my stuff when I can’t be there 24/7?,” Perez said.
She says she hopes that Public Safety will place more cameras in the back of campus, especially around the smoking spot.
Michael John, the director of Public Safety says there are two cameras that eye the back of Davidson and Ross. There is one that faces the stairs by the smoking spot and another that is a pan, tilt, zoom, that watches the entire parking lot and can see the smoking spot. He says there is a call box in the back as well.
Deanna Rizzo, a sophomore Resident Assistant, said that she has heard multiple students say they wish there were more lighting on campus.
School officials say this issue has been brought up and it is in the works with Facilities and Grounds to improve lighting around campus, most importantly in the front of campus and by the parking lots.
Many commuter students say they are unaware of what Public Safety does. Margaret Coultas, a senior at WPU, says she has only noticed their presence in the parking lots. “[They] look for parking stickers and give out tickets.”
On the social media site, Twitter, WPU students tweet about various problems on campus or in their lives as to an anonomously-run account noted as “@wpuproblems”. There have been numerous in regards to Public Safety handing out parking tickets.
However, WPU Admissions Director Jenny Peacock says bringing up issues through social media is “like talking to a wall.” She encourages students to bring their problems to Public Safety, so the issues can be corrected.
“Students are the extended eye of Public Safety… we depend on all students to inform us of anything that is out of the ordinary… if you don’t say anything, it goes unnoticed,” John said.
The Public Safety team has many ways in which students can reach them.
One is by phone with two different numbers. The first is what they call a “hotline” and that number is 919-833-2277. The other is their office number which is 919-508-2401. Public Safety encourages students to have these numbers programmed into their cell phones to make them more accessible.
Another way to reach them is using the call boxes, like the ones in the parking lots. These are in place so if a student feels they are in danger or needs immediate assistance, they can receive that help. The call boxes are a direct line to Public Safety’s walkie talkies so even if the officers are patrolling the campus, they can receive the call.
Similar boxes are being installed on each floor of every building as well. These are the Metis Secure Boxes which work almost identical to the call boxes in the parking lots and will be activated within the next month.
The main difference is they are two-way systems so students can communicate with the officer.

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