Increase Campus Security at UMD

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On February 14, 2018, I had to scramble to call my sister to make sure that none of her friends were affected by the events of the Parkland school shooting. Living in Maryland, it was scary having to passively watch the events unfold and hope that nothing got worse. At those schools, security is high with school resource officers and requirements for students to wear ID badges. At Maryland, this is not the case and just about anyone can come onto campus. Until about 10pm, anyone can walk on and off campus as they please without anyone verifying their purpose on campus. While Maryland is a public institution and should continue to offer the resources we have to the larger community, this open campus allows for complete strangers to come on campus unannounced.

            Maryland needs to increase campus security at all times, not just late at night. If something like what happened at Parkland, Sandy Hook, West Virginia, and countless other schools, they will not come at midnight, when campus is empty. They will walk on campus when the most people are there and when the security is the lowest: when no one is checking who is on and off campus. These measures do not have to be elaborate, just simple things like wearing ID badges on your person if you are a student, faculty, or staff. Additionally, people would just have to go through a visitor’s entrance and get passes in order to access campus just like they did before. These small increases in security presence and procedure will greatly help students and other on campus to feel as safe as they should on a campus as large as this. While we cannot predict every mass tragedy, we can take small measures like these to ensure that students, faculty, and staff are safe at all times on campus.