GSC, UA Consider New Safety PatrolBy Rishi Shrivastava
In response to student requests, the Graduate Student Council and Undergraduate Association are planning to form a student escort and patrol service for MIT. Similar programs already exist on college campuses -- both urban and rural -- all over the United States.
"By combining the benefits of an escort service with a student patrol, this service would make MIT a safer place by helping to reduce crime and helping to provide safe transportation for students at night," a letter from GSC and UA organizers said.
Working in pairs, these volunteers would monitor academic buildings and the interior of the campus and report any suspicious activity to Campus Police, according to GSC President Caryl G. Brown G.
In addition, patrollers would escort students to and from destinations around campus not serviced by A Saferide, Brown said. These would include parking garages, laboratories, and independent living groups.
Campus Police will provide a credible training program, where patrollers would receive instruction in areas such as observational skills and walkie talkie jargon, Brown said.
The Campus Police would also provide equipment, radios, and uniforms such as traffic vests.
The GSC will try to accomodate positive aspects of similar programs at other schools, according to Jonathan D. Baker G, co-chair of the GSC Housing and Community Affairs committee.
But the question is whether "we can translate need and interest into a workable program," Baker said.
Although the exact number of patrollers has not been determined, both Brown and UA President Hans C. Godfrey '94 agree that the majority of patrollers will be undergraduates.
Undergraduate enthusiasm will decide the program's fate because most students living on campus are undergraduates, Brown said. The hours of operation would also influence student interest, he said.
In addition, if patrollers were eventually paid, undergraduates would probably demonstrate a greater interest in patrolling because they are in more need of tuition funding, Brown said. Funding would originate from the office of Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56, Baker said.
According to a recent survey of 100 students, about 13 percent indicated they would volunteer, Baker added.
The GSC and UA will hold an organizational meeting with Chief of Campus Police Anne P. Glavin today at 6 p.m. in the GSC Lounge at Walker Memorial. If few people attend today's crucial meeting, then the program will not run as easily, Brown said.