Do FAMU students feel safe around campus?

A cop car with lights flashing.
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Police say that one man was injured after a shooting at a house party in the 700 block of Liberty Street, not far from FAMU’s campus. The shooting took place Jan. 21.

Many FAMU students question their safety due to this incident and others like it because of its proximity to campus.

Chloe Denis, a junior pre-dentistry student at FAMU, says that she feels relatively safe but notices some of the campus’ flaws that can contribute to unsafe environments.

“I feel relatively safe on campus, although I do recognize that the campus is open,” Denis said. “That leaves room for locals and non-students to come to our campus.”

Denis says she takes precautions to keep herself safe.

“With the increase of gun violence within the Tallahassee community, I’m definitely more cautious with my surroundings,” Denis said. “As a result, I’m more inclined to stay in due to the increase of shootings.”

According to the Tallahassee Police Department, there were a total of 87 shootings in Tallahassee, 24 of those ending in fatality, in 2023. Unfortunately, because of how frequently these instances occur, some students are starting to become desensitized to these incidents.

“I guess because I’m so used to gun violence, I’m desensitized to it,” said Aja Waseem, a junior public relations student at Florida A&M. “It’s sad it breaks my heart, but it’s nothing new.”

The city of Tallahassee reported that it would spend $1 million on crime prevention over the next five years. However, some students at Florida A&M think the local police department can implement some specific things to make their college experience safer and more enjoyable.

“I would say in high-traffic places such as Coleman, faculty can enforce a security system that ensures that only students and faculty are within these spaces,” Denis said. “For example, using student badges to get into spaces.”

Waseem also adds that more security at large campus events like “Set Friday” would make students feel safer overall.

Although there is room for improvement, Florida A&M’s police department has implemented systems like FAMU Alert to communicate with students about incidents happening on or around campus. According to Florida A&M’s Office of Communications, the platform allows students to receive notifications via phone calls, text messaging, e-mail and other applications based on the user’s location on campus, with the ultimate goal of helping keep the campus safe and informed during an emergency.