Safety precautions of all sorts were on the table at the Undergraduate Student Government senate meeting on Thursday, Sept. 18, as University Chief of Police Robert J. Lenahan, Inspector Tom Clark and SBU TNG (The Next Generation) Treasurer Tristan Catalano spoke to the senate about keeping Stony Brook students safe.
This September, UPD is releasing its annual report regarding campus safety and major crime statistics from the previous three years, such as assault, grand larceny auto, sex offences and burglaries.
“I’m happy to report that for the seventh year in a row, we are going to have a crime reduction this year,” he said. “We are going to be down about 33 percent and in the burglary category down about 45 percent.”
Lenahan said that within the last seven years, the Stony Brook campus has experienced about a near-80 percent reduction in overall crime due to aggressive action by UPD and in campus investigations.
In 2007, there were 217 burglaries on campus. Last year, only 25 burglaries occurred, Lenahan said.
The senate discussed lighting improvements, safety by the train tracks, student awareness of SB Guardian and UPD staffing with Lenahan and Clark.
Commuter Student Association senator Meghan Walsh suggested that a security guard be present outside of late night exams to make students feel more safe on campus. She also said that she does not feel comfortable being in South P lot at night.
Senior Class Representative Tyesha Jordan-Arnette voiced similar concerns about not feeling safe walking on campus at night.
“This is also where Guardian would come in handy as essentially an electronic friend that will walk with you,” Clark said.
SB Guardian serves the same function as the 144 blue-light phones on campus for emergencies, only it is right on a cell phone. Students must register and save the SB Guardian number into their cell phones in order to have a one touch call to UPD, or to set a precautionary timer while walking alone.
The call will automatically give UPD the caller’s location, photograph and personal description, as well as additional information the student may wish to provide.
The senate also approved a budget of $535.64 for the SBU TNG club by a vote of 16-0-1 to purchase educational books and items as well as food for on campus events.
Kimberly Pacia, the USG vice president of clubs and organizations, introduced SBU TNG as a “kink fetish alternative club on campus that promotes safe and healthy sex.”
“It’s not just about sex,” senior geology major Catalano said. “I know that turns off a lot of people off so I want to clarify that. A lot of people think about it that way, and that’s cool if you’re into that.”
Sophomore Class Representative Ashley Andreaggi asked for clarification about what the club’s purpose was and what happens at its meetings.
“During our meetings we’ve done a variety of things,” Catalano said. “We educate our members on tying rope, bondage, the use of different toys, relationships and subcultures.”
Safety was a concern for Walsh and College of Arts and Sciences senator Angelo Lambroschino.
“What if somebody does get hurt with these ropes on campus?” Walsh asked. “Who would liable?”
Catalano assured the senate that the ropes do not get lent out to students and that they are only for classroom teaching.
USG President Garry Lachhar asked Catalano why his club deserved funding and if there was any club on campus that does something similar to his club.
“There is no club that does anything like us,” Catalano said. “We’re trying to offer a service to students to help them learn about the things they wouldn’t necessarily talk about. We want to promote a safe campus too. There is safety to be had in the bedroom as well.”