Press "Enter" to skip to content

Students evaluate Public Safety at ASMC meeting

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

At a town hall meeting on Nov. 5, the Legislative Congress of the ASMC issued a report card to Public Safety concluding that while some of the improvements suggested had been implemented, Public Safety did not deal with all the issues that students brought up in last spring’s survey.

At the “Envisioning a Safer Mills” meeting last semester, Public Safety addressed a few student concerns including the difficulties students have entering the campus through the Seminary Gate, a low number of shuttle services and students unfamiliarity with the Public Safety officers.

According to the handout ASMC provided, a pin-operated key pad for entrance at the Seminary Gate has been installed so that students will be able to use Seminary Gate with fewer problems.

Three shuttle runs have also been added between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. The new schedule can be found on the Mills Web site under Safety and Transportation.

Public Safety also added a new feature to the Mills Web site. The names and pictures of all Public Safety employees have been posted under the Safety and Transportation link for Staff.

While Public Safety addressed these issues, other efforts received mixed reviews from the people who attended the town meeting.

The Legislative Congress’s handout read: “Public Safety has been more proactive and consistent about checking entering visitors, especially at night.”

Students who attended the meeting said that these efforts were not enough.

Public Safety is “better but far from consistent. Vehicles get priority [on being checked] so someone walking might get missed,” said Tracy Peerson, the women’s resource chair of the ASMC Executive Board.

Bicycle patrols in lieu of car patrols were another student-suggested idea Public Safety had not fully implemented. Though Public Safety began bicycle patrols last spring, the effort “seems to have died down this fall,” according to ASMC President Alexandra Widmann.

Other concerns had not been addressed, according to the handout. It listed To Be Developed items including problems with the escorting services.

Currently, Public Safety can only escort one student at a time, so “some [students] have to wait alone at night while Public Safety escorts another student,” according to the handout.

Maria Dominguez of the Legislative Congress said that she hoped to “play a liaison role so that students don’t feel neglected.”

She said she wanted to hear students’ concerns and relay them to Public Safety.

Though originally scheduled to be there, Public Safety Director Michael Lopez cancelled due to scheduling conflicts, Dominguez said.

Mills has a relatively low violent crime rate, said Dominguez. The 2006 Campus Security Report, a statistical report about on-campus crime published every three years, recorded only one violent crime from 2004 to 2006.

In comparison, the square mile surrounding Mills College has had 35 aggravated assaults, 45 robberies and 92 simple assaults in the past three months alone, according to CrimeWatch on the Oakland Police Department Web site.