Sunday, February 14, 2016

Public Safety Saves Lives: The Essential University Service by Jade Chu


author Jade Chu with Mrs. Tracy Chu, Supervisor of Public Safety



Working hard and partying harder is almost every student’s motto in college. We came to Hofstra University to be serious about our goals, but to also have the time of our lives. With students having a drive to ace that midterm and then go out and get drunk, you could only imagine the kinds of stories that follow. Who has to deal with these crazy kids? That’s none other than Hofstra University’s Department of Public Safety. Almost all of Hofstra’s students have seen many of the public safety officers patrolling campus at one point or another. We know them as the intimidating officers in uniform with the big-brimmed hats, but there is no reason to be afraid of these officers as they are professionals and the best in their field. Their number one priority is to make sure that all students, faculty, and staff are safe and protected at all times. I personally know all about public safety’s latest scoops, because my mom happens to be the supervisor of the department.



Of the stories that I know from public safety, there is always a lesson to be learned. The department is a safe haven, not a place of terror or interrogation. Since my mom has worked for public safety at Hofstra for a number of years, she has seen it all. She is the type of woman who would take her shirt off her back for a stranger, making her the most selfless person I know. As a student here at Hofstra, I happen to know some of the kids that she has come across. One of my very good friends happens to be among them. He came home from a frat party extremely intoxicated one night. When he got back to his dorm he fell and cut his head. His roommates somehow managed to drag him down to the lobby where he then collapsed in the vestibule. When public safety arrived on the job, my mom explained it as if were a murder scene: there was blood everywhere, splattered on the walls and floor. Public safety gave him the help he needed as he continuously vomited everywhere. It was ironic that my mom happened to be one of the officers on the scene, which I found out weeks later. In cases like this where kids are extremely drunk, public safety does everything they can to help, including bringing them to the hospital. Even though we have a strict rule with no alcohol on campus, public safety will never get you in trouble for something like this, or tell your parents. Their job is to make sure that you get the help you need.



At Hofstra University, not only do we have a strict rule with no alcohol on campus, but we have also have a strict student ID and check in policy. Many of the students here do not understand this process, and think it is quite unfortunate. It may seem like a hassle having to constantly leave your ID with the RSR, but it is only for our protection. The Department of Public Safety has these rules to keep unwanted guests out of the dorms. At the beginning of the school year, students were inviting people that they didn’t know into the buildings. These kids went through the buildings, went in the rooms that were open, and stole valuables. This type of vandalism happens all too regularly, even with our strict ID policy. You must at all times keep your doors closed. Public safety does hall checks daily, and if they see your door is open, they will close it. Last year, there was a big case with students who were stealing from other students. Public safety was able to track down the people who were doing this through the ID check in process.The students got their property back, and the robbers got in huge trouble. This is why it is important for everyone to understand the way we do things here at Hofstra. You may not like it, but remember it may benefit you one day.




Have you ever gone to a “secret” place where you and your friends enjoy hanging out? At Hofstra the hot spot is the hidden hill behind the fitness center. As you could imagine, most kids who go there are probably doing things that they aren’t supposed to be doing. On one freezing cold night, while it was snowing, a bunch of kids decided to drink on the hill. A particular girl in the group had more than one too many, and was highly intoxicated. On that night, public safety was doing their nightly check on the hill, and an officer found the girl passed out cold in the snow. She was left there all by herself, found just in time before her body hit hypothermia, or even worse! Kids think it is annoying that they get chased out of the spot, but it’s actually for their own good. What if public safety wasn’t required to do nightly checks, and never found that poor girl passed out? It’s highly likely that the girl would have died. Public safety saved that girl’s life. It’s important to realize that something like this could happen to anyone. Maybe you have good friends who would never leave you alone to pass out, but then again, maybe not. Without public safety in this instance, the story would have ended tragically.



On campus, there are many students who have emotional and psychological problems.There are many cases when a student feels homesick, and they will go to public safety asking for advice. This is a normal feeling, and it’s nothing that you should be ashamed of. There are female officers on every shift, meant to be there for students who may need a sense of compassion. There have been many cases when people have gone to my mom for advice. One time a girl brought her 16-year-old sister to a Hofstra party. The girl ended up falling asleep at the party, and woke up with no shirt on realizing that she shouldn’t have been there. The girl was traumatized and needed help. My mom talked to her, calmed her down, then talked some sense into her. Things like this happen daily. Not only is public safety here for our protection, but they can also be viewed as a counselor to some effect. They are here for you and are willing to talk to you about anything, so never hesitate to go to the department if you have any problems or concerns.




You have probably seen Hofstra’s transportation shuttles at some point or another. The Department of Public Safety is responsible in the operations of the shuttles. There are four different forms of transportation, all responsible for different things. With the night shuttle being the newest form of transportation in the past two years, it has increased the safety of Hofstra’s students. This shuttle is responsible for picking up students off-campus at late hours. Before this shuttle was around, students ran into many problems on the turnpike with accidents, fights, stalking, and robberies. Many things can happen when there are a bunch of drunk kids wandering the streets. Thanks to public safety, these risks have decreased due to the useful source of the shuttle. You should never walk anywhere alone at night. It is very likely that something bad may happen, especially in this neighborhood. Give the shuttle a call, they are more than willing to give you and your friends a ride.




There are all types of crazy stories of people here at Hofstra. The public safety officers are the lucky ones who get to deal with all problems that arise. It is satisfying to know that we have public safety looking out for us 24/7. Their whole job consists of protecting the well being of our campus. It is not a service to be threatened by, but to be thrilled because we have them. They are all professionals with mad skills, concern, and sympathy. It makes me laugh hearing stories that my mom dealt with, then later finding out that the people were my friends. She is constantly looking out for my friends with an extra eye, so it is good to know her. There are probably many more instances where she has come across people I know, that I’m not aware of. I always take the information from my mom’s experience and actually take it seriously. It is important to always have your guard up, because something may happen that you’d never imagine could.



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