I have not ever written a response to an article in the Statesman, even though I regularly read it. However after reading Alexandra Miller’s article, “RSP needs to pivot to providing safety to commuters,” I felt I had to respond. As a member of the Residential Safety Program for the past three years, I am well-versed in our policies and procedures as well as our function within the university at large.
The primary argument of this piece is inherently flawed. The Residential Safety Program is funded by fees paid to Campus Residences by residential students. UPD is trusted with ensuring the safety of the entirety of the campus, including commuter areas. While commuter students are welcome to utilize the walk service and our information phone line, expanding our services to cover large commuter areas would be a misappropriation of funds. Miller makes a fine point when she says that bus services could run later for commuters. However bus service is covered in student’s transportation fees, not by residential fees. Suggesting that there is any crossover between these two services is wrong, they are entirely separate.
Miller goes on to say that our workers are not trained to handle relevant emergencies to our campus, particularly sexual assault. This is untrue. Our workers are given codes specifically related to domestic violence and assault. Dispatchers are prepared to contact UPD at a moment’s notice and our supervisors and Assistant Coordinators are always on duty, prepared to respond to these types of emergencies. Through our PR Committee, we try to raise awareness about these and other safety issues to further strengthen campus safety.
Lastly, we make sure that our workers feel comfortable going back to their dorms at the end of the night. Most work in their buildings and of those who do not, we would certainly accommodate them if they did not want to walk alone. We take every pain to make sure students on campus feel safe through our services.
(Senior; political science and philosophy double major)
Assistant Coordinator of Field Operations
Residential Safety Program