Stevenson University Campus Security has played a critical role in ensuring that both campuses are safe and secure.
The No. 1 goal of the university’s security staff is to provide a protected environment not just for students but also for faculty, staff, and visitors.
AN ACTIVE PRESENCE
Greg Cullison, director of campus security, explained, “Campus Security maintains an active presence on all campuses by patrolling on foot and by vehicle to act as a deterrent to criminal, suspicious, or otherwise unwanted behavior.” On the Owings Mills campus, security officers are on duty and active call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including even when SU campuses are closed.
On the Greenspring campus, security officers are on duty during all hours that the campus is open. The security staff also continuously checks over 400 cameras (CCTV), all card readers that students, faculty and staff swipe to access buildings, residence halls and other restricted areas. Security officers also monitor the numerous blue emergency phones located all over both campuses and the Dell Family Pathway, according to Cullison.
Most students know that they can turn to Campus Security if they have locked their keys inside a car or have a dead battery; the security team is adept at the day-to-day needs. But their work goes far beyond that.
In the case of a potential natural disaster, the Campus Security team would rely on SU Alert to begin the process of issuing an Emergency Notification, which would appear on any computer signed onto the network. Noted Cullison, “This notification would provide instructions relating to evacuation, shelter and other procedures to follow in an effort to keep everyone safe.”
A Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) that includes Campus Security, Resident Life, the Dean of Students, Student Conduct, Wellness, Human Resources and other departments work together to assist students when a crime is involved. Cullison explained, “Our combined training, experience and expertise is well suited to assist. We also work with the Baltimore County Police, advocacy groups and other entities dependent upon the situation and the student’s needs.”
Additionally, Stevenson’s Campus Security team would like the SU community to be aware of the ALERTUS Desktop system, which “places emergency pop-up screen messages on all campus-owned computers in offices, computer labs, libraries, and classrooms—as long as those computers are turned on. ALERTUS would be used in conjunction with SU Alert in situations that would require individuals on campus to lockdown and shelter in place.”
A DECREASE IN INCIDENTS
As a testament to all the hard work of the SU Campus Security officers, an April 4, 2017, article by Kylie McQuarrie of YourLocalSecurity.com noted that Stevenson University was ranked first in safety out of 50 colleges and universities in the state of Maryland.
Cullison responded to this ranking: “SU, like every college campus, is not immune to drug and alcohol use and abuse. We have had a steady reduction in disciplinary referrals over the last three years, from 51 in 2014 to only 6 in 2016. Our disciplinary referrals for alcohol dropped in 2015 but showed a slight uptick in 2016. Wellness, Student Conduct and Residence Life do a great job in their efforts to educate students in these areas and may be a good reference for additional information.”
The security staff looks forward to the number of referrals decreasing even more as the staff continues to focus on the university’s security, according to Cullison.
Cullison added, “I feel that much of [the improvement] is directly attributed to the hard work, dedication, training and experience of our security officers. We as campus security could not be successful without the help and support of SU administration, the faculty and staff, who are our extra set of eyes and ears, and lastly the students who have embraced our ‘See something, say something’ motto. It is a team effort; that is why we are so successful.”
HELP WITH OFF-CAMPUS LIVING
Campus Security does their best to protect students who live off campus as well by maintaining a professional relationship with the Baltimore County Police department. Stevenson security officers also offer crime prevention tips and other information to students who live off campus. Students can get this information by calling Campus Security at 443-352-4500. On-campus students can use that number as well for any problems that they have observed or are currently encountering.
The Campus Security team is not content to rest on their laurels. Cullison explained that he is always reviewing and updating his office’s policies and procedures. “I also sit on the Policy Manual Committee, the Emergency Procedures Committee and the Crisis Response Team, all of which are continuously meeting and seeking best practices.”
Finally, Cullison offered this advice to students and staff for their on-campus safety: “Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Don’t walk and text. If you see something, say something. Walk in groups when possible. If you feel unsafe, call Security who can provide you with an escort or otherwise assist you.”