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New Welcome Center enhances safety on Syracuse University’s South Campus
New Welcome Center enhances safety on Syracuse University’s South CampusAugust 28, 2002Mark Owczarskimaowczar@syr.edu
To further enhance the safety of students, faculty and staff living and working on South Campus, Syracuse University has established the South Campus Welcome Center on Skytop Road, near the intersection of East Colvin Street. The center, which opened Aug. 25, will be operated by SU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The Welcome Center will be staffed by a Public Safety officer from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. seven days a week. During this time, all vehicles entering South Campus will be required to pass through the Welcome Center-the Slocum Heights entrance and the rear entrance to South Campus from Jamesville Avenue will be gated and closed. Vehicular access to South Campus will be unrestricted at all other times.
“We can’t do enough to protect our students, faculty and staff,” says Director of Public Safety Marlene Hall. “The more we increase the visibility of Public Safety on South Campus, the more likely we can reduce the incidence of crime.”
When entering South Campus, vehicles will be directed to pass through one of two gated lanes at the Welcome Station. Students, faculty and staff entering South Campus should use the right-hand lane, which is equipped with both a card reader and a proximity card reader (similar to the E-Z Pass system used on the New York State Thruway). Access is gained by either swiping one’s University-issued I.D. card or purchasing a proximity card through Parking Services. All members of the University community-both those who work or live on South Campus and those who do not-will be able to pass through the Welcome Station in this manner.
Guests who are not accompanied by a University student, faculty or staff member will need to use the left-hand lane and will be required to check in with the Public Safety officer assigned to the Welcome Center.
The Welcome Center is expected to have no impact on pedestrian traffic, and Centro bus service to and from South Campus will continue to operate normally. Drivers are asked to observe the 15-mile per hour speed limit as they approach the center. That speed limit will be strictly enforced.
The construction of the Welcome Center is the latest in a series of safety enhancements for South Campus.
Many improvements to South Campus safety have been introduced in the past several years based upon recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Campus Security, a state-mandated committee that reports to Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw each year on the status of sexual assault programming and overall campus safety. In 1998, Anastasia Urtz, then-associate dean of student relations and director of judicial affairs, and chair of the Advisory Committee on Campus Security, formed a special subcommittee to specifically review security issues at South Campus.
In 1999, a security door viewer was installed in the main entrance of every apartment, additional exterior lighting was placed throughout South Campus, and additional “Blue Light” stations were constructed.
In early 2000, DPS added five new Public Safety officers to provide additional coverage at South Campus. In Fall 2000, DPS opened a substation on the upper level of the Goldstein Student Center. The full-service substation, located next to the SU Bookstore’s South Campus branch, is staffed by both students and Public Safety officers.
“We’ve taken many steps to increase safety for South Campus residents, but we must continue to educate students how to protect themselves from crime,” says Hall. “Developing good habits-such as locking doors, hiding valuables, and avoiding dangerous situations like walking alone at night-remains the best deterrent for crime.”