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Friday November 21st 2014

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School safety is taken into question

By Darlene St-Juste

In light of Sandy Hook, the National Riffle Association has responded to the December 2012 shooting in Newtown saying that there should be ‘armed security guards at every schools’ according to an article that was published in the Wall Street Journal.

Wayne Lapierre who is the Vice-President of the NRA continued the argument to add armed security guards using the fact that banks, courts and power plants are all protected with armed security. Although the NRA’s argument is true, do college students feels the same and agree with their statements?

David Moran, NCC’s Student Government Vice-President of Administrative Affairs said, “I do not support the NRA’s stance on having armed security guards at the schools. I would rather see more along the lines of better security training and safety features at schools”.

Norwalk Community College is an open institution, which means that anyone is able to walk in through the East and West campus as well as the new Health and Science building; not much can be done regarding this issue since the school is required by state law to remain an open access institution to the students and community, according to Rose Ellis, the Dean of Administration.

On the other hand, many students feel that the school does not have a good fire drill system. Some students are wondering if all of the fire alarms work since security guards had to go into classrooms to tell a class that they have to leave because the fire alarms went off.

“I noticed the school does not have enough fire drills“, said Natalie Jones, student.

Ellis feel that the college does have a good fire drill system and she confirmed that all of the fire alarms are in working order based on the State of Connecticut Fire Code.

 ”You must remember the drill is only as good as the individuals who abide by the rules, what I mean by that is when the alarm goes off, everyone needs to evacuate the building and not think that it is just a drill”, said Dean Ellis.

The college has taken a step toward making the college’s parking lot safer for students, especially night students, by adding the blue lights security poles last year.

“I think the blue lights are good for the safety of the students, but I feel like no one uses them”, said Saige Bryan, student.

Dean Ellis say that there is a mandatory Federal report that all colleges and universities must submit by October 1st  each year called the Clery Crime Report and NCC have not reported any physical attacks incidents on campus. The school sends a copy to every students and it can be found on the college website.

Another step that the school took  over the break toward making the campus safer was installing cameras around the campuses , most of them being on the West Campus.

“The cameras are there to assist the security guards in doing their job to assure that the faculty, staff and students at NCC are safe. An individual guard can only be in one place at any given time, so the cameras are additional eyes to help while they are patrolling”,  said Dean Ellis.

Although the college might be an open institution to students and community members, the security guards, the blue light and the new installed cameras are here to help keep the students, faculty and staff safe.

“I feel confident with all of the security guards patrolling on foot in the exterior and interior of the campus as well as, patrolling via the security vehicle and having the additional cameras in place”, said Dean Ellis, when asked about the fact that anyone can enter the school. “However”, Dean Ellis continued, “can it be better, of course and can additional measures be put in place yes”.

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