The Gustavian Weekly

Campus Safety makes changes to accommodate COVID-19 concerns - The Gustavian Weekly

By Carter Brown - Staff Writer | November 6, 2020 | News

Due to COVID-19, many aspects of campus life at Gustavus have been changed in order to accommodate the students and faculty on campus safely.
On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Assistant Vice President of Student Life Megan Ruble provided information regarding Campus Safety services. Ruble stated that Gustavus has been unable to do any major updates, but still finds ways to make these services as safe as possible for students.
“We could not find a way to offer Safe Rides with necessary COVID precautions,” Ruble said.
The popularity of such services has also been impacted greatly due to COVID-19.
“Campus Safety took 9,194 calls last year. Safe Rides, medical escorts, motorist assists, and lost and found are some of the most often used services,” Ruble said.
“Not surprisingly, the request for Safe [Walks] is way down. Students appreciated the warmth and convenience of [Safe Rides] in addition to the extra safety they provide,” Ruble said.
Safe Walks, which has widely replaced Safe Rides due to COVID-19, has not seen as much popularity either.
“Safe Walks is very safe, considering the service we provide. We make sure to report specific times and places, as well as the number of people going to ensure that everyone who uses it is safe and makes it to where they need to go,” First-year Quinn Aliabouni, a Safe Walks employee, said.
“It’s the easiest way for us to still provide this service without violating COVID restrictions…So far, I haven’t done any Safe Walks. Most people who call want the rides instead, so the service isn’t very prevalent. Campus safety is doing the best they can with the pandemic and with trying to provide safety services. Although Safe Walks isn’t preferred, it is the best option we have,” Aliabouni said.
“I’d rate the service as adequate. Personally, I used it more at the beginning of the semester compared to now and in my experience, Safe Walks didn’t use social distancing but did have masks. I think it becomes more irrelevant as the semester goes on and as you start to make friends,” Aliabouni said.
Like other offices at Gustavus, Campus Safety has changed policies in order to comply with COVID guidelines.
“When officers respond to calls and if they do a medical or hospital transport, they must evaluate what kind –if any–of PPE they need to do to be safe. Their vehicles are being disinfected after every shift. These are just a couple of things,” Ruble said.
“Campus Safety is working with so many other offices to keep students safe and healthy. It really is a collaborative effort and Campus Safety plays just one role,” Ruble said.

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