By Shea Stine
Within hours of their swearing in, the Quincy University Student Government Association’s newly elected representatives had their first test when a man attacked a friar in Brenner Library. SGA President Gino Grivetti responded quickly by issuing a statement to students concerning the attack and announcing that SGA would be working with campus security in order to ensure that Quincy University remains safe for all students, faculty and staff.
The first part of the process was an open forum, which was held Tuesday night. Sam Lathrop, head of campus security, started the forum, which no students decided to attend, with a 30 minute presentation of the current state of security on the Quincy University campus. Following the presentation, SGA senators asked Lathrop questions about a variety of concerns over security. The one with the most relevance to last week’s incident in the library is why there is no magnetic key card entrance to the library.
Lathrop explained that the library can be controlled remotely by security if needed in the case of a lockdown or other security issue, but he also said that, because the library is open to the public, it is difficult to keep it locked at all times and open it for anybody who is not a student. In addition, Lathrop said that the magnetic key set-up averages around $2,000 per door that it is installed on. The library doors are not the doors that are most in need of the magnetic key entrance, and the expense doesn’t make sense right now.
Other senators asked questions about how informed freshmen are about security. Grivetti said that Lathrop and the senators were interested in the idea of providing more information to incoming freshmen about security as well as potentially expanding security initiatives such as self-defense classes in the Health and Fitness Center.
“We want our students to feel safe,” Grivetti said. “We really want our students to be comfortable contacting security as well as knowing the services that they provide.”
While many students were taken off-guard by the bizarre scene in the library last week, Grivetti feels confident in the state of campus security.
“I don’t want to downplay any of the students’ potential concerns, but I think Quincy University is about as safe as it gets,” he said. “I spoke with Sam the morning after the incident, and we discussed a number of campus security issues. Luckily, Quincy is a small town, and we have a small campus. On a lot of larger campuses, there are a variety of issues that we don’t really see here. I am personally satisfied.”
Grivetti did say that he is content, but he made clear that the senators will be the ultimate judges of that after talking to the students that they represent. Students should talk to their representatives about any concerns they have with campus security in order to have their voice heard at the SGA meetings.
SGA will continue to work with students and security, but now they will be focused on finishing out the year. Although the representatives were just sworn in last week, Grivetti said they are planning an ambitious project to gather information via survey on what students think about campus life. The survey will cover everything from communication between students and the school, maintenance, dorm life, athletics and campus life in general.
SGA’s goal is for 500 Quincy University students to fill out the survey in order for SGA to get a good pulse on a variety of things on campus. Students are encouraged to come to next week’s SGA meeting that will be held Tuesday April, 18 at 9 p.m. to give their insight on campus life as well as to learn about the new constitution as it gets its final touches.