DSU Debuts “Campus Watch” Program
MADISON, S.D.- On college campuses across the country a big concern is safety, especially when students are out and about late in the evening. Staff at Dakota State University in Madison are taking a proactive approach to keep people safe.
Juniors Nathan Kramer and Ezra Chona have always made it a top priority to look out for their friends on campus.
“My friends, back when I lived in the dorms, they would visit and then go home to their dorm. I like to make sure they would be okay, so a lot of times we would escort them or we’d walk with them to make sure that nothing bad happened,” said Chona.
Now each week they’ll be watching out for everyone at DSU. They are a part of the new Campus Watch Program, which offer safety and security services to students, faculty and staff in the evenings between 8 p.m. and midnight. If someone is walking across campus and they’re not feeling safe, Campus Watch is just a phone call away.
“As the university grows and adds programs, builds partnerships, increases our student population, our student body. It’s something we want to make sure we have in place so that we can prevent incidents from taking place,” said DSU Safety Resource Officer, Heath Abraham.
The program is all student run. Six students will take turns in groups of two patrolling the campus and responding to calls. Some of their duties include security checks and escorting people around campus.
“In the two and a half years I’ve been here, I’m getting to know all these students and all the friends I’ve made and everything. I just thought it was a cool opportunity to provide that extra layer of security for the campus and all the people that I know here,” said Kramer.
Tuesday, January 8th was their first day and they’ve already helped students.
“It was actually pretty gratifying, knowing that we had two students who for sure got to their dorms safely and I think they appreciated it,” said Chona.
Chona and Kramer hope people use the campus watch service and say they’ll be ready to help out.
All of the Campus Watch students have gone through training. Besides securing the campus, a big part of their job is customer service. The goal is for them to become a helpful and approachable resource on campus.