New safety escort program allow students to help other students
Humboldt State University is an open public school that hosts many strangers on a daily basis. Some students, faculty and staff feel unsafe walking alone at night on campus. To ease their worries the University Police Department has started a program that enlists student escorts to assist other students and faculty who feel unsafe walking.
You can find these escorts walking around campus wearing bright green jackets. Karyn Hoppe, the clery coordinator and live scan supervisor at UPD, said the program fulfills some of the safety needs of students, faculty and staff.
“Unfortunately in society, people in authority are not looked at in a favorable light, especially police officers in uniform,” Hoppe said. “With the peer program, people feel more comfortable being able to say things without getting in trouble. Some even feel uncomfortable being with a police officer or being seen in a patrol unit because people wonder why you’re in there.”
Students, faculty members and staff can be escorted from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Monday through Friday within school grounds. Student escorts are not permitted to go outside of campus to assist students. They only offer assistance from the end of the Jolly Giants building to 14th Street.
Alan Valle, a fourth year student majoring in sociology, works as an escort for the peer program. Valle said he usually gets calls anywhere from the BSS to the library.
“A lot of students I get do feel unsafe and want someone to walk with them to their destination, due to reports of strange people walking on campus they have heard of or emails they have gotten in the past.”
Miguel Altamirano, a fifth year kinesiology major, also works as a student escort for the peer program.
“It can be a little sketchy walking at night, depending on the hour, especially working on a project at midnight,” Altamirano said. “You feel like you want to rush home because you see people you don’t recognize or who don’t look like students.”
Students now have the opportunity to be accompanied by another student without feeling unsafe. Paola Morgado, a second year student at HSU majoring in biology, shared her opinions and thoughts on the student escort program.
“I never feel safe walking alone on campus at night,” Morgado said. “There are some weird people roaming around on campus. I believe that the campus is finally becoming more aware of incidents happening on campus with strange activity of random people, so I think this program will help a lot of people.”
If any students, faculty or staff members feel unsafe walking from one destination to another late at night on campus, they can request a safety escort by calling the number 826-5555, or just dial x5555 from a campus blue light courtesy phone.