Claudia Brunson: news editor
With the recent influx of crime in and around the Jackson area, particularly in the Belhaven neighborhood, members of the Millsaps community have reason to be concerned about the safety precautions taken on campus. But the Millsaps Safety and Security team maintains that it will work for the safety of the students, faculty and staff.
Director of Campus Security and Safety John Conway said he works to make sure that the security team on campus is aware of crimes that are happening around the area. Conway stated that his campus security team is in constant contact with other security and police squads including the Jackson Police Department, Baptist Security, UMC Security, and Hinds County Sheriff Department. Conway also makes it a personal mission of his to educate his community on what it means to be safe and what safety looks like. Millsaps does, however, suffer from some petty theft crimes on campus.
Freshman Mary Katherine Moore is, for the most part, confident when it comes to her safety on campus.
“I do feel safe at Millsaps,” Moore said. “There are security guards who constantly patrol the campus. You can’t walk around campus without seeing at least two or three of them.”
However, some students are concerned about the unknown faces that are let onto campus at various times throughout the week.
“I think they should have a better system at the gates so that they don’t just let anybody in,” Moore said. “Sometimes when I see random strangers who clearly don’t go to Millsaps (nor are they on tour with the school) wandering around campus I get a little scared. There have also been a few people like that wandering the halls of Bacot.”
Although there might be unknown faces on campus at times, the security asserts that good police skills, including observation techniques, are used to ensure safety, according to Conway, especially when public events such as basketball games are taking place on campus.
“That is a little bit of a hypothesis that I do not support, that we let in students without student IDS or decals,” Conway said. “But on Tuesday nights where there are no big events happening campus is limited to people only with student IDs and parking decals. People are stopped at the game and are let in one at a time; if they do not have a decal or a good student ID, they must prove to us why they have to be here.”
Conway advises students, when walking at night, to not look down at the sidewalks texting and not paying attention to his or her surroundings. It is also important to let people know to expect your arrival.
“Whenever possible make wise and mature choices about your safety and those are true for men and women, young and old, students and faculty staff alike,” Conway said. “Walk with your friends and meet people. We offer a security escort service.”
The Department of Campus Safety and Security is dedicated to keeping students, faculty, and staff safe on campus. The team does all it can to ensure safety and appreciates efforts made by the community of Millsaps to help maintain safety on campus.