Pierce Pioneer

New changes to the Campus Safety Office

The Campus Safety Office went through remodeling over the summer with the hopes of improving student experiences

I need help.

It’s not unusual for college students to say this on campus. Whether that help be navigating the campus, or needing personal assistance and not knowing where to get it. It’s a normal part of being a college student, and it is important to know where students can receive that support.

Pierce College’s Campus Safety Office, located on the third floor of the Cascade Building, is here to assist both new and returning students with any burning questions. Jeffrey Schneider, the Director of Campus Safety, wants all students to know that they can come to them for anything.

Ciara Williams / Staff Photos

“We’re kind of the one stop shop,” said Schneider. “If you don’t know the answer to something or don’t know where something is or who to talk to, you can come to us. We can either answer your question or put you in contact with someone who can.”

Over the summer, the Campus Safety Office went through remodeling, with the hopes of providing students a better environment. Pierce has added a glass window in the office which now closes off the area from the public. This provides students and staff privacy to air out any and all problems.

Originally, the office was a tall counter where students went with their questions. Schneider states that the old set up did not comply with American Disability Act guidelines, meaning the state would have required the remodeling. However, Schneider felt that making a few extra changes to better the student’s experiences would be a benefit for the future.

“In the past victims who needed a space to talk felt not as comfortable to do so, due to the original set up,” said Schneider. By providing privacy, the staff hopes students will feel more comfortable to come to them for help.

Campus security has also done work over the summer, including teaming with local law enforcement to better prepare in the event of an incident. On Sept. 5, Campus Safety held an all-day training in the Rainier Building with the Lakewood Police Department. Schneider states that this allows officers to better familiarize themselves with the campus

The Campus Safety Office has made itself an available source for a plethora of situations. “We’ve done everything,” said Schneider. “From call ambulances, to providing first aid, and for the case of running start students, connecting students and family members.”

On a typical day, the usual questions students bring to the office involves finding where their classroom is located or how to receive a parking permit. Though at times, students will come to the office with more serious concerns.

There has been no particular safety issues on either campus and that is outstanding. There are very few crimes that go on here, and that’s the way we like it.”

— Jeff Schneider

Schneider mentions how there are times where students are experiencing dating violence or may even be the victim of other serious crimes. Schneider makes it clear that students can bring non-school related concerns to them if needed; the office can refer students or staff to counseling or law enforcement. Ultimately, it starts with Campus Safety.

The office does what it can to alleviate any concerns students might have while on campus. Students uncomfortable with walking to their car at night after class can go to Campus Safety and receive an escort. 

If a student’s car is broken into, or a stranger or classmate is making them uncomfortable - Campus Safety is here to help with these concerns. Students seeking help only need to stay aware and ask when needed; all it takes is that first initial step from students. .

Schneider finds it important that students are aware that they are responsible for their own security as well. Campus Safety is here to serve students and will always be available, but it is up to the students to take that extra step in keeping themselves safe. “If you hear something, you have to react. Make sure that you are visible,” said Schneider, whether it be about a problem, vehicle, or a student in general.

With new students preparing to attend Pierce College this fall, many may be curious as to how Pierce intends to assure them that they are safe here. America as of recent has been going through hard times regarding gun violence and public safety, and Schneider wishes to say this to any students in need of assurance. 

“There has been no particular safety issues on either campus and that is outstanding. There are very few crimes that go on here, and that’s the way we like it. We have built in systems, and more safety mechanisms; so should an unfortunate event here happen, more people will be safe.”

What Campus safety can do for you

Campus Safety is located in CAS311

You can receive a parking pass from the Campus Safety Office

You can receive a security escort to your car, or even to the bus stop

Campus Safety can provide First Aid, CPR, and other medical assistance

Campus Safety can refer you to counseling

Campus Safety can help you locate a class or room

Any thefts or crimes on campus can be reported to them

Campus Safety can assist students going through dating/relationship violence

Campus Safety can notify students of any serious incidents happening on campus

Campus Safety regularly holds training to better improve security during any incident

Incidents on the Fort Steilacoom campus can be reported 

via their office number: (253) 964 - 6751

Banned for your protection

Campus Safety exercises their right to ban students from the campus for security reasons

Every student gets e-mails of bannings, yet, few know why or the reasons for it. Many would think that there is a list and infact there is not one. While there is no official ban list, the e-mails that announce banned students to attending students and faculty could be referenced to create a “list” of sorts. While there is no specific reasons listed ( due to privacy issues) they do share it for certain reasons.

These reasons are a way the staff ask the student to help ensure the safety. As Director of Safety & Assistant Director of Facilities, Chris Mackersie stated “There are more students than administration. If one of them remembers ‘Hey, he shouldn’t be here,’ due to those announcements, it helps out alot.”

A student may get banned for a multitude of reasons, but most bannings arise from a violation of the student code of conduct. At the time of the violation, the student will be given a warning. If the issue as stated before is consistently recurring, it usually results in the offending student being banned.

For example, if they are consistently aggressive or threaten the safety of students and faculty,  this would result in a ban. There are other reasons that factor into the banning. The health of the student is one concern. If a student shows signs that their mental state is unsuited for attending the college they will be banned. In situations such as these the administration feels that the student would not benefit from attending the college until they seek the help they need.

All of these are recurring cases that are brought to the attention of the college staff. Though there are situations where the campus administration may find it necessary to ban a student with little warning. Those are few and far between though.

If a student violated the student code of conduct  frequently, they will be banned restricting them from accessing campus grounds.

Those who violate the ban will be asked to leave the campus. If the banned individual continues to be uncooperative, the local police will be contacted to remove them from the premises and could end up facing criminal charges.

Traditionally, a student who is banned is banned campus-wide automatically. There are certain exceptions though, such as if a student is taking classes and there are circumstances where they are unable to attend classes due to a restraining order, in which case the college may devise a situation where the student may get the schooling they are striving for without violating said restriction. They may bring an instructor from the Puyallup campus to teach them here or aid the student in taking classes there.

Many students that  take online classes will need to access the campus at various times  due to the instructor of the class issuing the students an assignment that require certain materials on the campus that they must use to complete the assignment. For example a video may be announced to be available for a certain period of time. Being banned will affect online classes in that situation, yet, the college offers a way for those serious about their education to continue it. A banned person is not traditionally allowed on campus. If they have to turn in an assignment or obtain materials from the campus they must contact the college and notify them of when and why they must access the grounds. This along with the situation given with the restraining order must be specially allowed by campus officials and are a rare occurrence.

Sharing the road near Pierce

Valerie Ettenhofer

When driving in Lakewood, there are a few traffic-related oddities that drivers are bound to notice. As any commuting student can tell you, the rules of the road are different here. Extreme-angled intersections and flashing school zones are around every corner, pedestrians wander freely across traffic, and all roads lead to the Towne Center.

All of these hindrances, however, pale in comparison to the erratic habits of casual bicyclists. My daily drive to and from school includes a minimum of two people veering between the sidewalk and the street, unsure of their place in the flow of traffic.

I respect anyone who takes an active stand in exercising and cutting their gas bill, but the methods some bicyclists prefer are anything but expedient.

Washington traffic law RCW 46.61.770 states that, “Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place shall ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe.”

This makes sense. If I were to drive ten miles per hour down an average road, I would be pulled over and ticketed in no time. Yet traffic frequently jams in one or more lanes on Steilacoom Boulevard and even South Tacoma Way, simply because of the leisurely pace adopted by casual bikers.

The conditions slow-moving cyclists put themselves in are not only a disturbance to the flow of traffic, but also a danger to the bike riders themselves. I once saw a man who riding unsteadily during a storm that fell onto the road. Besides the inclement weather, he was struggling to decide whether to ride as a pedestrian on the sidewalk or as a vehicle on the road.

No matter the form of transportation, the best way to have a positive commute is by remaining alert and being courteous to any and all people around you. If you ride a bike, consider the distance, your stamina and pacing, and the availability of sidewalks and bike lanes in your route.

As a driver, I give myself extra time in case of delays caused by alternate transportation. Keeping your patience and being aware of the constant movement of those around you are universal guidelines for staying safe on the way to school.

Many serious cyclists have fought for the right to the road, and they deserve a place that allows them the same access as motor vehicles. Every traffic law does not please every person, but any good law works to keep society safe and efficient. Safety and convenience can look different from on a bike than they do from inside a car, but whatever you choose, remember that we all share one road.

Be aware of the truth not frightened of the truth

Over the past couple of years, I have written articles on several issues that frighten people.

My goal has always been to inform my audience so that they can avoid or minimize problems in their relationships. As the school year draws to an end, I want to reiterate some of the lessons.

Abstinence is a great way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Getting to know your partner and monogamy are also good ideas. Although not perfect, condoms do reduce the risk of some diseases and pregnancy.

Sexually active people should also learn about and employ the most effective contraception. And last, vaccines are available for some STIs, e.g. human papilloma and hepatitis A and B.

If a relationship is going bad or jealousy rears its ugly head, people need to talk to one another in an open, non-attacking style to seek resolution. If this fails, counseling maybe necessary.

If there is a threat of danger from a partner seek help. There are ways out of abusive relationships, e.g. YWCA and other help lines. We have great resources information on the Pierce College web site: www.pierce.ctc.edu/dist/ counseling.If you are fearful that gays will take over the world, rest easy, they just want the same rights as others in our society.

Gays are not out recruiting innocent straights. There is no credible evidence that a straight person can be turned gay, nor a gay person turned straight. If you are gay, transgendered, bisexual, or questioning there are resources and people who can help you suicide is not the answer (see past web site for further info).

If you feel that you are not a competent lover; there are numerous books that give suggestions to be a better lover.

Once again, communicating with your partner is one of the best approaches to become a better lover. Likewise, if a relationship is becoming boring, there are books suggesting ways to spice up one’s sex life,

or talk with your partner about new ways of being.

If you are having trouble finding dates, remember that friends can be effective in set-ups, if they know your tastes. On-line dating can also work (but be careful there are creeps amongst us) or joining a club or group that does ac- tivities you enjoy.

At least you can have fun doing the activities.

And don’t forget the option of approaching a per- son you find attractive in a public place.

Having something to say in advance (not a trite line), could allow you to make the approach.

A book titled “Guerilla Dating” makes useful suggestions on approaching a stranger. Be hopeful but 100% success is not likely to happen.

Driving a vehicle is the most dangerous thing that most of us do. But people are seldom fearful of driving (some should be). If we are careful, follow rules, keep our vehicles in good shape and pay attention to our driving, then accidents are uncommon.

Intimate relationships are similar. If we are careful and pay attention to what we are doing and how our behavior can impact self or others, then we tend not to get into wrecked relation- ships or lives. And, while I’m at it, remember to wear sun screen.

Comments (0)

The Pioneer intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Pioneer does not allow anonymous comments, and The Pioneer requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All Pierce Pioneer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest