By Dan Fenyo
Some of the most common questions we receive from prospective students are about campus safety. As a parent, sending your child to live elsewhere (potentially somewhere very far from home) can be a terrifying prospect. There’s a long-standing tradition in movies and television of representing college campuses as communes of debauchery and criminality crawling with carbon copies of 1978-era John Belushi stumbling around with less-than-savory intentions; in short, Saturnalia punctuated intermittently with classes and assignments. The reality of it though is that Hollywood’s depiction of college simply doesn’t exist. At least, it doesn’t exist at the Mount!
Joking aside, security on campus is a very serious matter for parents, students, and the college itself. For that reason, Our Office of Campus Security and Safety is one of our greatest assets here. Matthew Byrne, our director of Security and Safety is a retired Police Chief of the Middletown Police Department. Carl Truffi, Coordinator of Security and Safety, served as a sergeant for the NYPD. So many others have served in law enforcement in some way over the years. With that kind of background students and families can rest assured that the folks managing the safety of the campus know what they’re doing.
Titles are nice and all, but facts are facts, right? Well, one of the first facts I like to share with parents is that our security patrol isn’t part-time. 24 hours a day, there is a trained security presence patrolling the entire 60-acre campus. In addition, each freshman residence hall maintains the same around-the-clock standard. If you want to get into Sakac or Guzman Hall, you’ll have to swipe your secure ID card and confirm your identity with an officer at the entrance. Meanwhile, our security team has a constant eye on the campus through our system of 70+ CCTVs. To get in touch with S&S at any time, call their direct line, (845) 569-3200, or look for one of the 23 Emergency Blue Light Phones scattered across campus. Using any of them will immediately alert a security officer to your location for quick response. In case of an emergency, Blue Light Phones are an excellent way to get help, but students are always welcome to ring an officer for a security escort anywhere on campus.
Because of the Office of S&S’s remarkable rapport with local, state, and federal enforcement agencies, students are encouraged to use campus security officers as a liaison service. Local law enforcement is also constantly engaged with working alongside campus security to implement training and preparedness sessions for students and faculty alike. With this professional training, students will know how to respond in the case of any type of emergency.
Of course, I’ve really only just scratched the surface of what makes Campus Security so essential. I always encourage students and families to do their own research to confirm that a college will maintain safety on campus to a standard they deem suitable. For a complete Campus Safety Report published annually by the MSMC Office of Security and Safety, click here!
What sort of things make a college safe in your opinion? How is your child’s well-being considered by the college? These are crucial questions you should be asking yourself during your student’s college search. Safety isn’t something to take lightly when it comes time to make the big decision. When there is something strange in the neighborhood, you ought to know that your child is protected by professionals.
Daniel Fenyo has been an admissions counselor at the Mount since September 2018. A lifelong Hudson Valley resident, he enjoys reading, writing, and all things nerdy in his free time.
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