Security aides offer valuable services

Doug Fink

I am writing in response to an article written by Eddie Kilroy (“The first suggestion letter” Sept. 10).

It’s unfortunate that Mr. Kilroy is allowed to have his opinions printed in the Stater, because it implies that he might have something intelligent to say, when in reality, his suggestion is just plain stupid. Let me ask you a question, Mr. Kilroy: What was going through your head when you suggested that, because we are in “tough economic times,” we should terminate approximately 50 student jobs? That’s 50 student jobs that help students pay for their education, when, as you so clearly stated, “it is difficult for many families to help their kids proceed through college.”

Not only that, you ask “if there is uncertainty about campus security, why not hire more police officers on campus?” If your real goal is to save our university money, how does terminating x-number of jobs and creating y-number of jobs in their place solve the problem? It sounds to me, Mr. Kilroy, that you simply do not like us. I don’t know what your personal qualm is with us “life-size bumblebees,” but the majority of students here on campus have no reason to call us out.

For those of you who are curious, security does many things on campus that benefit students (if you recall the last sentence of the article, Mr. Kilroy implied we don’t). First, and most clearly advertised within the halls, is the security escort program. Simply put, we accompany students on their walks across campus when they don’t feel safe.

And Mr. Kilroy, if you don’t believe that this service is necessary, consult the 217 students who felt last year that we were something more than students with walkie-talkies. When the safety notices were sent to students at the beginning of this fall semester, the number of escorts skyrocketed. I don’t know what this means to you, Mr. Kilroy, but to me, it says that we make students feel safe.

What are some other things we do? We respond to situations that threaten the safety of students, such as fights and domestic disputes. Oftentimes, simply providing a presence in situations like these can stop violence from escalating, and in some cases, prevent it entirely. We prevent strangers from entering your residence halls, stealing your belongings, and endangering your friends. We alert maintenance to broken doors that allow these people in, and we stand by these doors until they are fixed, sometimes in the dead of winter.

Finally, Mr. Kilroy, the service we provide that I find more important than any other is simply being an extra set of eyes and ears for the residence halls. Since Aug. 20 of last fall, the Kent State Police reported that 229 ambulances were called for students on campus. The majority of these calls are made at night and on the weekends. When security is working, we respond to every single one to gather details, to comfort those who are injured and to assist the paramedics in locating the student as soon as possible. In many cases, the security aide is the person who actually makes the ambulance request.

Please, Mr. Kilroy, next time you decide that the security aide position is “useless and degrading,” think of the student who feels unsafe walking across campus at night, the student who passes out in the bathroom alone at 3 a.m. and the student who is facing threats of physical abuse from a roommate or significant other. I’ve helped students in each and every one of these scenarios, and I can say that I am extremely proud to have had the opportunity to work a job that allows me to help people, instead of simply prepare their next on-campus meal.

Doug Fink is a senior English major and a security aide.