On Feb. 20, 12 students were sworn-in as Campus Safety student officers. They swore to never betray the badge, Union College or Campus Safety. They swore to maintain integrity, character and the public’s trust, and they swore to defend those who can't defend themselves and uphold the constitution no matter what.
Tyler Anderson, the newly-appointed head of Campus Safety, gave me a glimpse of what he has planned for campus safety and its officers of peace. Aside from training officers and providing safety to the campus, Anderson also wants to teach them useful skills they will use the rest of their lives. Anderson also wants to strengthen relations with the Lincoln community to more effectively protect students and citizens. The students first underwent a selection process. Only those that truly wanted this service oriented job were chosen. Second, each officer was given a baton and handcuffs. Finally, each officer was be given pepper-spray—but only after they had been sprayed themselves.
If pondering why someone would subject themselves to Nebraskan weather on the daily, you’re not alone. I wondered the exact same thing. When asked about why he joined Campus Safety, sophomore health and human performance major Erick Sanchez said it was simply because he likes what he does and enjoys the outdoors. Respect. When asked why he responded to the call to serve, deputy director (and junior business administration major) Anthony Gann said, “The reason I chose security is because Union College has been a home away from home for me. I feel everyone on this campus is part of my family and I wanted to do something I felt would give back to the school.”
In the interview with Gann he informed me there is always an officer on duty and an officer on-call. Never is there a time when no one is keeping a vigilant eye on Union. There’s a saying that goes around campus safety and law enforcement: “90 percent of your job is just patrolling and sitting around waiting for something to happen, and 10% is actually going out there and fighting against crime.”
Gann told of experiences where he’s had to utilize his training to takedown a campus threat. It's for that 10 percent that Campus Safety exists. Being an upholder of the law is never easy. However, Union College has officers who take time out of their day to make sure you have a safer college experience. My suggestion? Thank an officer when you see them strolling around, not just for their time and protection, but also for their commitment to what is just.
Sean Hendrix is a senior studying biomedical science.