At this point in our lives college students have a million and one things to worry about: grades, financial aid, homecoming, the future. The list goes on and on.
The absolute last thing anyone, especially students, would want to worry about is safety, especially on and around campus. Being safe is imperative for a positive environment; worrying about safety can affect peace of mind which can affect performance in school.
In 2019, Florida A&M University reported 110 “safety-related incidents” concerning students on or near campus or other university related properties.
Of these incidents, 85 happened on campus and 7 happened on FAMU-affiliated properties. Of these incidents 51.8% were disciplinary actions. Violence against women represented 24.5% and arrests for major crimes represented 23.6% of all incidents.
When asked about safety on and around campus, third-year graphic design student Danielle Boyd said, “I feel safe because I know that I’m protected but at the same time I’m still looking over my shoulder. It’s not just [college students] in Tallahassee, people next to you, even your neighbors, you don’t necessarily know them or what they’re up to.”
Boyd, who lives off campus, shared her experience with FAMU’s Police Department.
“I wouldn’t necessarily [call] them, no. I’ve gone to them before and they didn’t do anything. I feel like they need to take us seriously.”
Terence Calloway, chief of police at FAMU, acknowledged the need to bridge the gap between FAMU students and the Department of Campus Safety and Security.
“A challenge we’re having is establishing rapport with students … police have to work twice as hard now,” Calloway said. “The public needs to know what the police are doing and the public needs to know that police leaders, like myself, are holding people accountable.”
Calloway implores students to take advantage of all the resources that the FAMU Police Department, the Tallahassee Police Department and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office have to offer. This includes their “Report A Crime” link on their website.
Calloway said he is committed to campus safety and also offered his own number to students in the event they need someone to call.
“Students can pick up the phone and call. My number is (850) 570-2573.”
As long as the people in charge remain committed to safety and students continue to hold their leaders accountable, FAMU students, staff and faculty alike will benefit.