Every Wednesday after her biology lab finishes at 8 p.m., ULV student Sarah Segala walks alone from the Mainiero Building to the Wilson Library parking lot, where her car is parked. Campus safety provides student escorts in the evenings. The Campus Safety Department recommends students program their mobile phones with ext. 6666 or 909-208-4903 to reach the duty officer quickly.
While students at other campuses stress the importance of public safety every day, the University of La Verne finds itself as one of the safest schools in California, located in a high-ranked crime free city.
According to the Annual Security Report released last week, ULV had three reported incidents of burglary but no other reports of any other crime incidents during 2007.
And while many Los Angeles area campuses have been in the news for attacks taking place on campus, ULV has a stellar reputation of zero serious crimes having been reported to ULV campus safety in 2007.
The city of La Verne itself, according to the La Verne Chamber of Commerce web site, has one of the lowest crime ratings in the foothill area, with the second lowest overall crime rating compared to its 14 neighboring cities.
The ULV security report notes 61 disciplinary referrals for liquor law violations and five disciplinary referrals for drug law violations.
“We do want to remind students that ULV is a ‘dry campus.’ Possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited by University policy anywhere on campus or dorms regardless of the age of the student,” said Jeff Clark, assistant director of the campus safety department.
Even though the crime rate is low, and hardly any crime has been reported, the campus safety department said that students and employees should always take precautions as if they were on an unsafe campus.
Campus Safety Officer Quan McCutcheon said that it is important to always observe what is around you.
“Always pay attention to what is going on and if something does not feel right, stay calm and call the police,” McCutcheon said.
The campus safety department has been effective in its law enforcement efforts; it is active in supporting a number of crime prevention programs.
Campus safety has a list of services on its Web site, such as providing students with how to respond in case of an emergency and how to report lost property.
Campus officials also note that safety precautions should be taken.
“Always have someone on campus walk with you to your car if it is late at night,” McCutcheon said.
The University has also taken steps to keep the campus safe in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.
Clark said that students could sign up for the 3N mass notification system that has been recently developed to help notify students in case of emergencies.
“This enables one person to communicate with tens, hundreds or thousands of people anywhere, anytime, via phone, email, instant messaging, text messaging, fax, BlackBerry, PDA, pager and more,” Clark said. “In the event of an emergency such as a significant earthquake, we can communicate with the student body, faculty and staff.”
Students staying in the dorms are required to sign up for this service.
Commuter students are highly recommended to sign up for this service the University offers, so that they are aware of events affecting the school.
The University encourages students to report all criminal activity and all suspicious incidents to the campus safety department at ext. 6666 or 909-208-4903 as soon as possible,
Although some incidents may seem insignificant at the time, campus safety still encourages students to report any events they are concerned about.
“Also, I recommend that students and staff should have campus safety saved on the speed dial, in case of an emergency,” McCutcheon said.
Reports of in-progress crimes may be made directly to the La Verne Police Department by dialing 911.
Reports of fire or medical emergencies may be made directly to the La Verne Fire Department by also dialing 911.
While some students are worried about checking to see whether they locked the doors to their cars or whether they rolled up their windows, others are worried whether they remembered where their flash drive is.
“We are having a lot of memory sticks turning up lost from the computers at the computer labs,” Clark said.
“Students have come to the campus safety office, sometimes in tears because they forgot their memory sticks,” Clark said.
Campus safety suggests that students attach a lanyard to the device or place a yellow Post–it on the computer screen to remind them to take out the memory stick before logging out.
“If someone finds a memory stick in one of the labs, they are to call campus safety, and we will attempt to find the person it belongs too,” Clark said.
According to Campus Safety, parking is another problem on campus, and the failure to abide with regulations has been one of the toughest jobs for campus officials.
Lack of knowledge of the parking regulations and inability to find a proper parking space often impact the La Verne campus. Being late for class, having no permit displayed or failure to obtain a proper permit are also some of the many problems students and faculty face.
These are also excuses students try to use to get out of a citation. “We are trying our best to make sure all ULV parking lots are available to our students and staff,” Clark said.
“Our officers are out enforcing the parking regulations the University has in place.” If a car does not have a visible ULV parking permit, it will be cited by campus safety officers.
Even though Campus Safety officers do admit to the lack of parking spaces available, they still have to enforce the rules.
“There is not enough parking on campus to accommodate everyone,” McCutcheon said.
Regardless, the Department is still serious about giving out citations to anyone who breaks the parking laws.
Visitors to the campus still continue to be required to obtain temporary parking permits if they plan on parking at school.
Temporary permits will only be valid for the date issued.
The officers have been trained and given the authority by the La Verne Police Department to issue parking citations for violations of university parking regulations.
Jennifer Kitzmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.