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Student safety escorts should provide off-campus services

By Chelsea Royal, Special to the Chronicle

Ever wonder who those guys in the blue and yellow jackets walking around campus were? They are Public Safety's student escorts, who provide services for any member of its community.

These escorts are required to take special training, carry walkie-talkies, and help Public Safety Officers monitor any suspicious activities. While they do not receive their own vehicles, the student escorts provide Hofstra members with someone to safely bring them to their car or dorm on campus. Overall, the students escorts are a helpful resource for members of the Hofstra community. They also give students on-campus job opportunities and experience.

However, many students are unaware that this organization even exists. They recognize these students, mostly young men, walking around with their walkie-talkies and jackets in the Student Center or in front of Hofstra USA. When I asked several students what they thought about the student escort system, each one responded the same way, "Student escort system? What's that?"

Anthony Zaccone, was a student escort during his freshmen year and had to make sure no one was causing any trouble. If he saw any suspicious activity, he had a responsibility to report it to Public Safety, but could not get involved in the action.

He believes the student escort service at Hofstra could be a useful resource, but not might appear to be because students and other members of the Hofstra community do not use it as much.

"I spent a lot of time walking around in the middle of the night doing absolutely nothing," Zaccone said, "Yet I hear all the time about girls walking alone through Hempstead. If people actually realized that there was an escort service it would be a lot more useful."

I feel that overall, students on campus feel safe walking to their car or dorms during the night. However, to make better use of the student escort service, I believe their services should expand to off-campus duties.

During the past couple semesters, Hofstra has sent out alerts of off-campus robberies and crimes along Hempstead Turnpike. If a group of student escorts were available to walk students safely back to campus from local eateries and even the popular off-campus bars, these crimes could easily decrease.

Student escorts could also be stationed at the new Public Safety booth at the end of the Netherlands, so they could be easily accessible to people who need their service. There, the student escorts could assist the officers who are trying to monitor activity outside the bars and make sure students get back on campus safely.


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