Key safety measures missing at Coleman

East Entrance to Samuel H. Coleman Library. Photo courtesy: Beyla Walker

Safety on Florida A&M University’s campus is a huge topic that many students voice concerns about. One particular issue that comes up time and again is the lack of protective measures at Coleman Library.

The library is a place where students go to study and convene, most of the time during late-night hours. Many students say they don’t feel safe at Coleman because there is no way to monitor who goes in and out of the library – and it has many entrances.

Cierra James, a junior sociology major, shared how she feels about the issue.

“It’s crazy how we have come this long without better protection at the library,” James said. “The issue has come up in many conversations and we have yet to see anything done about it.”

James noted that ot her universities have been employing safety precautions for years.

“I have always wondered why anyone can just walk into the library, no means of identification, nothing,” James said. “It isn’t the same at FSU’s libraries.”

At Florida State University, Strozier library has many ways to keep students safe. For example, students have to present identification to enter the library. There is also a screening to prevent firearms from being brought into the library.

East Exit to Samuel H. Coleman Library. Photo courtesy: Beyla Walker

The associate dean of libraries at FAMU, Brenda Wright, insisted that  safety measures are in place at Coleman.

“We have security guards in place, they’re supposed to be checking student IDs after 11 p.m.,” Wright said.

She added that the university is in the process of installing protective measures similar to those at FSU.

Along with there being no way to identify who is in the library, there is also no way to identify if a person has brought a weapon into Coleman.

Students have said that it is imperative that FAMU makes the wellbeing of its students and faculty a top priority to prevent tragedies such as the fatal shooting that occurred at Grambling State University on Sunday.

According to the FAMU police department’s website, “The members of The Department of Campus Safety & Security are committed to providing the students, visitors, faculty and staff of FAMU an environment where people can live, visit and work safely.”

The FAMU police department is adamant about protecting students.

Chief Terence M. Calloway says in a statement on the website, “I like the progressive route our police department has taken and I’m thrilled to be a part of this amazing team.”

Hopefully, that progressive route makes its way to Coleman Library.