Revamping security at Goshen College

At a small college like Goshen, safety and security are often taken for granted.  People recognize almost everyone on campus, so it’s easy to forget that Goshen has a necessary security system in place at all times.  In an effort to make our security more effective, the college has decided to revamp its system for next year.

Bill Born, vice president of student life, and Jim Histand,vice president of finance, have been working on this project all semester.  A task force was formed in January to determine if the current security is meeting the needs of students.  The three areas they are focusing on are campus education about personal safety, campus systems and security personnel.

“We’re trying to get a sense of where our priorities are right now,” said Born.

To do this the task force hopes to gain student feedback about the possible changes, survey students about what they want out of campus security and sit down to talk one-on-one with students.

The changes might include nighttime lighting changes, personnel changes, electronic entry to the dorms, video surveillance on select areas of campus or other students’ suggestions.  These ideas have mostly come from the Student Satisfaction Inventory, which is a survey students take each year, and from discussion with the Student Senate.  The committee has also looked at security systems of comparable colleges in the area.

However, these possible changes won’t be put in place without thoughtful discussion between the committee and students, since they plan to take students’ and parents’ opinions seriously during this discussion.

“We do value students on this issue,” said Born, “and parent’s opinions are a big deal—they’re investing a lot in sending their kids here with us.”

Born encouraged students to be part of this discussion in order to get the most effective security for our campus.  The survey will be sent out later this week.

“I hope students will take just two minutes to answer 15 questions that will end up helping us out a bunch,” said Born.

Written by Kate Walker

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