Students may have noticed an increase of safety material in their mailboxes and advertisements around campus at John Brown.
Additionally, extra pedestrian crossing signs flash near Hutcheson Hall. Interested students can take self-defense classes in Murray Sells gym.
The campus safety department ensured that nothing has happened, but they want students to be aware because danger exists.
Olivia Morrow, a campus safety work-study, said, “Campus safety has become more organized this year. They have become good at recognizing problems and finding solutions.”
Ronald Kirk Smith is the daytime campus safety officer and believes that awareness is the key to making students more conscious of dangerous situations.
“We are making people more aware through the use of the flyers and posters. A lot of information people will get is through their emails and newsletters.”
Smith also wants to make the JBU community aware that, “We do not live in a bubble anymore.” Smith remembers when he and his wife first moved to Siloam in 1972 and how they did not have to worry about keeping their doors locked at night.
“With the elevation of crime now, we do not have that luxury anymore. We have to better protect ourselves and constantly be mindful of our surroundings.”
Smith emphasized that the goal of campus safety is to be informative.
Campus safety director Scott Wanzer explains the sexual harassment handouts that students found in their mailboxes at the beginning of the year.
“It is in response to a new act by the U.S. Congress that is strengthening existing laws.”
The existing law Wanzer talks about is Title IX. According to the American Civil Liberties Union website, Title IX “prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including on the basis of sex stereotypes in education programs and activities that utilize federal funds.”
This law is usually only associated with the world of sports, but in broader context, it applies to the dating subculture.
Wanzer said it “handles a broader context of basic opportunity, which is seen through sports but can also be seen a dating relationship. For example, if a girl felt force in a sexual dating relationship with a guy. Now her experience on campus has been affected.”
Wanzer said, “All of a sudden her ability to walk through the gathering area and have an undisturbed meal in the cafeteria has now been affected by this event. In that instance her opportunity to have an even playing field and her experience at JBU have been affected, and that falls under Title IX. It’s not a sports issue, but it’s this sexual issue and dating issue and that is why it falls under Title IX.”
Wanzer went on to discuss how officials have improved Title IX to cover dating violence: the SaVE Act. The SaVe Act works to eliminate sexual violence on college campuses. Due to this law campus safety was required to send out the updated information on Title IX and the SaVE Act to all students.
The new 911 posters around campus are due to Wanzer’s effort to combine a former safety document to a more updated version.
Wanzer combined the two documents making them easier and more accessible. Wanzer said that his goal is to strengthen policies that are already in place but need updating.