As the school year goes into full swing under unusual circumstances, campus safety is a primary concern for many.
Though life is altered from what we usually know, many of the same safety procedures and protocols are still the same, both on and off campus.
For those living on-campus, students can look to their resident assistants (RA) as their primary source for personal safety. They help build communities, ensure physical safety by reporting misconduct when necessary and refer students to on-campus resources based on their circumstances. When issues arise between roommates, they serve as mediators. Furthermore, they’re actively working to help students follow COVID-19 procedures.
“With COVID-19, we’ve been making sure people have been wearing masks. We’ve been trying to make sure people are following COVID-19 policy rules such as not bringing people over from any other dorms,” said Richard Boulay, Coughlin RA.
RA's serve as more immediate lines for emotional and physical safety. If their general RA isn’t on duty, students can call the RA on duty whenever they feel unsafe.
In addition to this, organizations such as the University Multicultural Education Center (UMEC) and the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Center work to make the campus a safer space for the underrepresented individuals. Center for Cura Personalis acts as an umbrella safety organization for all students at Gonzaga University.
There are also blue light phones scattered across campus. These serve as hotlines to Campus Security & Public Safety (CSPS). Students can request safety escorts, call to report a crime and more.
CSPS plays a large role in facilitating student safety both on and off campus. They provide safety escorts which bring students to and from locations if they feel unsafe. They also teach self-defense to students and provide access to daily crime logs. These display where crimes happen on campus and in the surrounding area.
Students off-campus also have access to CSPS.
“We really have it in three phases. The immediate area — our campus — is our main concern," said Philip Tyler, crime prevention and education officer. "Then we have secondary and tertiary patrol zones. Those are established because we know Gonzaga students, upperclassmen and women, live off campus in the Logan Neighborhood. Beyond that, Gonzaga has properties that we own that we still must maintain security over.”
CSPS works closely with the Logan Neighborhood Resource Officer and the Spokane Police Department.
Students also have access to ZagAlert and Timely Alert. These are notifications students and staff get whenever public safety issues arise on campus.
When it comes down to it, students have several resources both on and off campus at their fingertips to ensure their safety.
“We believe campus safety is a cooperative effort between our students, faculty, staff and our visitors,” Tyler said. “And our goal is to make sure that everyone that crosses the path of Gonzaga University feels safe and knows there’s an element there to protect them.”