When looking at colleges, prospective students often look at the class sizes, their intended major but how can families really trust if a campus is safe?
Because Cabrini University is a small campus, hidden from busy roads, many believe they are safe on campus.
“I never feel unsafe walking alone on campus,” Liam Perry, a sophomore studying criminology, said. “Passing the public safety on a daily basis, they do a relatively good job. Some are lazy, but I do see a bunch of new guards on campus.”
Having a campus on the Main Line often makes students have jobs off campus, where it results in many students walking back to their dorms late.
Olivia Constantino, a freshman studying special education and elementary education, talked a little about being in situations when she does return back to campus late.
“Occasionally, I do come back late at night,” Constantino said. “I have never really felt particularly unsafe, but there are a few areas that are not lit up like around the Commons and behind Woodcrest, walking from East and Xavier Halls.”
Public Safety officers are not Cabrini employees. The employees are directed under Allied University company.
“In order to work for the Public Safety Department, we look for a few basic requirements and qualities,” Joe Fusco, director of Public Saftey Department, stated in an email. “We generally look for individuals who are prior military, police, fire or EMS members who have a vast base of experience.”
The public safety department patrols around campus 24/7. They have cars, as well as people on the ground, patrolling around the buildings and dorm rooms.
“Currently our department employs roughly 35 staff members which include Public Safety Officers, Dispatch Officers and Shuttle Drivers,” Fusco wrote. “During standard shift evening and overnight shifts (3 p.m.-11 p.m. and 11 p.m.-7 p.m.), there are four officers on site.”
Being located in Radnor Township, Cabrini’s public safety works closely with the Radnor police. In recent events, Cabrini turns to the Radnor police for assistance in many drills, including the lockdown drill.
In the last two years, Public Safety has been making improvements.
“For example, we’ve added new programs such as Rape Aggression Defense classes, Active Shooter Awareness Classes and we will be practicing our first campus-wide lockdown drill during the fall,” Fusco wrote.
Even though Public Safety is making progress with its training, the department still has a ways to go to win the confidence of some students, if faced with a major crisis.
“I heard that Cabrini barely had room to house all students living on campus,” Costantino said. “If an active shooter, for example, were to come at night, four public safety officers could try to do something, but if there are multiple shooters or they’re preoccupied on other things, then we’re dead.”
Many students on campus are skeptical of public safety’s experience, however.
“I’d call Public Safety if it was an immediate threat and I had already called 911,” Constantino said. “I do not really see a situation that I need to call them. If something like a rape or abuse were to happen, I would go to psychological services or a professor or mentor I feel close to.”
Constantino has relied on Public Safty before, but was not impressed by the outcome.
“I locked myself out of my room one time the second week being here,” Constantino said. “I had to call Public Safety to let me back in – took them 35 minutes though when I called at 12:50 a.m.”
Fusco is eager to continue to improve the department.
“We still have a long way to go but I am proud of my staff and our progress,” Fusco wrote.