By Amanda Toth
I’m sure everyone on campus has, at one time or another, heard someone complaining about the Security department. These complaints, mostly about parking tickets or a lack of parking spaces, are usually something that can be avoided or something that is the student’s fault to begin with. But have you ever heard of someone praising the Security department for their hard work? Probably not.
Do we realize just how safe our campus is? Between 2006 and 2007, Scranton reported four forcible rapes, in contrast with none reported by Marywood. During those same years, Scranton recorded 19 non-forcible burglaries and Marywood 5.
In contrast, an August article in The Scranton Times noted that the University of Scranton may be getting its own armed police department. Currently, some of their public safety officers do have the authority to arrest, but do not carry guns. The article cited a task force as suggesting the idea to the University.
But this stark contrast in crime rates doesn’t necessarily mean that Marywood has a safer campus than Scranton. “It’s a geographical issue,” explains Chief Mike Finegan, Chief of Marywood’s Security Department. “I think where they’re located, there’s more crime over there. The Green Ridge-Dunmore area is very quiet historically and we don’t have as much crime surrounding us.”
On September 4, Dean of Students Amy Paciej forwarded a Community Advisory via email that had been issued by the University of Scranton’s Department of Public Safety because it was the weekend of La Festa Italiana, and she expected Marywood students to be in the downtown area. In advisory was about several attacks on U of S students in recent days. Within a three-day span, five students were confronted and assaulted by groups of six people or more.
Two weeks later, Dean Paciej e-mailed the Marywood community to forward a Community Advisory from the Community Medical College and the University of Scranton. The advisory warned students of an attempted robbery on Quincy Avenue after which the suspects fled toward Vine Street.
How sad is it that colleges have to issue such community advisories to warn students of criminal activities, or even need their own police department? I’m not placing blame on anyone, not the University of Scranton, not their Department of Public Safety, not Scranton Police. I’m merely pointing these incidents out to show how lucky we are to not need our own community advisories.
“MU Security does a great job,” says Dean Paciej. “They also are great at responding to emergencies with care, acting as resources to students, and they get to know and support individual students in their MU experience.”
“I think the Security Department has to be given a major role in the fact that security is as good as it is on campus,” adds Chief Finegan. “With support from the faculty and administration, and their interest in the student body, all of that combines to make a very safe atmosphere.”
“Marywood’s Security department is by far the best one, out of the 6 institutions, I have had the pleasure to work with,” adds Dean Paciej.
Thank you, Marywood community, for treating the campus and each other with respect. Thank you, Marywood Security, for all your hard work in keeping us safe.