Security & Protective Services (SPS) engaged in talks with students to get an idea of what could be improved (Photo by Rhiannon Johnson ’21).

Savannah Sima

Contributing Writer

Following the open forum with Security and Protective Services (SPS) hosted by Campus Council (CC) on Oct. 27, and the two hate incidents that targeted members of the College, Dean of Students Scott Brown sent an email to the campus community with an up- date on some introductory mea- sures to improve campus safety.

This included installing cam- eras, opening faculty/staff park- ing spots for students from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., positioning SPS outside the libraries when they close, reporting demographic data, sharing more information about security protocols, pro- viding anti-bias training of old and new SPS workers and creat- ing the Student Safety Advisory Committee.

Brown remarked that camera installation is in the phase of “de- termining the right amount of

coverage right now, which will determine our eventual number, and those will be detailed later.”

Questions of where to place the cameras have been posed to students through groups like the Multicultural Student Organiza- tion Coalition (MSOC), Student Government Association (SGA) and CC. These cameras will go “beyond the existing 60 cameras in key traffic locations across campus,” according to the email Brown sent to the student body. He also mentioned that “[the] cameras will be ordered in early November with a goal install date prior to the end of the semester, weather permitting.”

Moreover, starting Nov. 1, SPS have been positioned outside An- drews, Gault and Timken Library when they close each weeknight at 2:00 a.m. Brown informed that the officers will be there unless called away for an emergency.

“We will assign more people, whether officers or additional

Student Security Officers, to make sure students are escorted safely to their rooms, as needed,” he stated.

The addition of SPS trainings and new hires were also pres- ent in the email, SPS has hired a new officer and a new dispatcher “who will bring more diversity to the department,” which is one of the concerns students noted in the open forum and Chief Diver- sity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Townhall on Oct. 23.

With regards to training SPS officers, Brown mentioned that community outreach has been added to the training of new SPS staff, and that SPS is adopting national community engagement standards in tandem with “anti- bias training,” an “expert trainer on diversity and bias for the de- partment in November” and Safe Zone training.

Additionally, SPS has updated the SPS website to include the names of all current staff mem- bers, as well as their specific shifts.

In an effort to foster more transparency on campus, SPS of- ficers will also begin “recording and reporting demographic data regarding all stops.” This infor- mation will be, “share[d] … each semester with campus.”

Furthermore, an additional body to bolster campus safety, the Student Safety Advisory Com- mittee, has also been formed “to increase student engagement and opportunities for input.”

Brown thanked the students who spoke at the forum because their voice has led to some of these changes. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the students who attended the recent townhall and safety forum and willingly sharing their frus- trations and contributed valu- able input,” he said. “We greatly appreciate your efforts to make Wooster a safer, more welcoming place for everyone.”

Brown added, “We continue to ask all members of the communi- ty to please report any instances of bias or harassment immedi- ately to SPS or fill out a bias form so that we can address issues as promptly and effectively as pos- sible. Those reports are shared with many individuals who are trained in bias reporting who will reach out to the reporting party and initiate investigation.”