Campus checks in effect this weekend

To increase safety and minimize outside activity, the Florida A&M department of public safety is checking for identification during homecoming week.

Additional police squads will be stationed around campus checking for foul play in light of the increased attention surrounding the university during homecoming.

“We have had a heightened awareness campaign for a while now,” said FAMU police Sgt. Sherri Luke. “We have one squad specifically there doing ID checks. If you don’t have a reason to be here, you don’t need to be here.”

In light of the recent shooting that occurred after the first FAMU home football game involving two off-campus youths, Student Government Association is encouraging students to be proactive when it comes to safety.

SGA Vice President Calvin Hayes, a fourth-year public relations student from Orlando, informs students about carrying identification.

“We’re encouraging students to carry ID,” said 21-year-old Hayes. “There will be frequent checks during homecoming.                                                                                                                               

If you are not a student, you will be asked to leave the university. Students without rattler cards, will have their picture taken for identification purposes.

E2campus alerts along with the presence of the FAMU police will be available at the university’s disposal.                                                                                                                                       

“We are working with FAMU police to lock down one entrance of Palmetto South and check IDs,” Hayes said.

The safety of students has been jeopardized by outside visitors on campus forcing university police to react accordingly.

“These are outsiders coming in. What we have to do is protect our students from becoming victims,” Luke said.  “We’re talking to girls and guys to make sure they are not letting outsiders in the dorms and asking people to observe the curfew in the dorm.”

The Safe Team will also be available to assist FAMU police, providing safety checks as well as escorts for students traveling around campus at night.

“This shows the type of students we have here at FAMU,” Luke said. “FAMU is in a good position security and safety wise.”

Chelsie Purcell, 19, a second-year health science student from Miami, is keeping family and friends informed of her whereabouts to ensure safety.

“I usually go out with a group of people and tell people where I’m going just in case,” Purcell said. “I also stay watchful of my surroundings.”

FAMU police are urging students to attend classes during homecoming and utilize the Safe Team when necessary.

“We don’t want you on campus with that criminal element,” Luke said. “We’re asking students not to drink. The Safe Team is one of the most critical components to student safety that I know of; they are not just escorts.”

The Safe Team is a student volunteer organization that escorts students around campus until 2 a.m.

There should be a picture of the Safe Team while wearing their shirts on campus. A picture of an officer looking at a student’s rattler card should also be featured as a side photo.

These photos can be obtained by contacting the safe team for a photo while they are working, and by venturing on campus for the police photo.