Maya Mohan – North Bureau Chief
Broward College takes campus safety and security very seriously with plenty of resources like the Broward Safety Connection App that contains tools such as the campus safety call button, SOS button, safe corridor, and check in feature in order to provide a safe and secure experience to all students.
Broward College also has the BC Alert System to provide notifications to students about any incidents that take place on campus. According to the 2021-2022 Annual Security Report, Broward College employs “non-sworn, unarmed Campus Safety Officers (which include Officers, Corporals, and Sergeants).”
They provide public safety assistance to students, faculty, staff, and visitors as well as respond to and investigate any incidents on Broward College campuses. Broward College has a Campus Safety Office located at: Central Campus – Bldg. 20, North Campus – Bldg. 46, and South Campus – Bldg. 71. Students, faculty, staff, or visitors can reach any Campus Safety Office by calling 954-201-4357.
While there are not many direct reviews about safety at Broward College, it is ranked #233 out of 1,387 for safest college campuses in America, according to Niche. However, this does not necessarily reflect how safe the student’s feel on campus. When asked, “On a scale of 1-10, 1 being unsafe and 10 being safe, how do you feel on campus?” Tori Wilson, a student on North Campus responded with a 6
One of the reasons for Wilson’s score were the unsettling encounters with individuals seeking signatures for petitions on campus. Another student named Drekaria Miller also had something to say about these individuals. “Some petitioners don’t know how to take no for an answer.” This issue further strains how comfortable students may feel on campus.
According to Lt. Terry McDonald, “we recently did experience some solicitors who were seeking information related to voting, campaigns, and COVID.” The Lieutenant also stated, “we have had a small number of students and faculty alert us about solicitation.”
If any student does spot individuals asking for signatures, let campus safety know so that they can be moved to a specific “free speech” location that does not interrupt the learning environment on campus.
On Oct. 26, 2021 at 8 p.m., North Campus conducted a safety walk to identify and report any areas of concern around the campus. The walk was carried out by the Department of Safety, Security Emergency Preparedness (DSSEP), Security Operations Center Manager Michaela Scott-Williams, Access Control Manager Timothy Andrasek, Lt. Terry McDonald, Sgt. A J Castellon, Cpl. J Sapon, CSO A Lowe, Facilities Supervisor Harold Celicourt, ASC Employees, and finally students from Science Club and Student Life.
During the walk, some issues were found. First off, the back entrance of the Library/ASC could become a blind spot when individuals leave the building; therefore one of the recommendations proposed is that the door should have either a monitor or window to view outside before exiting.
Secondly, walking along Building 41 to the bus stop appeared to be very dark, including the bus stop itself. Recommendations were made to add extra lighting. The same suggestion to add additional lighting was made for the tennis court, as well as between Buildings 51 and 52, the Lake/East gate, the southwest side of Building 60-300, and lastly the walkway between Buildings 46 and 47.
The surrounding bushes also needed to be trimmed down. During the walk, participants found that the Omni Cave could potentially be unsafe with benches and seats in isolated areas. The area could become dangerous for students who walk in that direction to go to the parking lot.
The possibility of adding security cameras and the removal of various seating was recommended. According to Sgt. Andres Castellon, “for the campus safety walk, the majority of the recommendations have been completed or are in progress.” The safety walk provided students and staff the opportunity to work with Campus Safety and voice their concerns.