Focus on campus safety: keeping Lawrence safe

By Anh Ta

From driving night owls who study until 3 a.m. back to their dorm rooms to helping out with medical emergencies, there is virtually nothing Lawrence University Campus Safety would not do for the students. They are often the unsung heroes who help build a safe and supportive environment for Lawrentians.

The team currently employs six officers — three part-time and three full-time staff members. Campus safety works 24 hours a day throughout the year. With such a small staff, you will not often find an officer staying at one place more than five minutes.

According to Campus Safety Officer Caleb Zitek, who joined over the summer, it can get especially hectic during high-traffic times, such as Octoberfest and Welcome Week, when things get more exciting. Occurrences of routine tasks, such as rescuing locked-out students, patrolling or taking calls, also increase. During our conversation with Zitek and Campus Safety Officer Bart Boge ‘95, we were often interrupted by the students’ calls to the campus safety line.

The hectic schedule and workload do not seem to faze the officers, as they talked to us about their jobs with lots of enthusiasm. It seems that both Zitek and Boge greatly enjoy the working environment here, as well as their interactions with Lawrence students.

To Zitek, the best part of the job is “getting to know people,” he said. “Although I am only here part of the week, a lot of people know my name.” As an alumnus, Boge greatly appreciates the opportunity to be back here working on campus. After two years back on campus, he loves the camaraderie within the team.

Sophomore and Ormsby Hall Residence Life Advisor (RLA) Maamie Appiah told us how much she was amazed by the campus safety team.

“I have been to other colleges and I have never heard of campus safety coming in to pick someone up or to drive them back to their residence halls,” said Appiah. “Also as an RLA, when anything happens, I can call them and they are always here,” she added.

Working so closely with the student body, the team also has their own take on the typical Lawrentian. More than anyone, as everyday first-hand witnesses, they understand the Lawrentian lifestyle from a unique perspective.

“They all seem stressed out,” said Zitek, with a chuckle. “When [we are] running around at 3 or 4 a.m., we are definitely not the only people still walking around. People are up all night. I see a lot of good work ethics around here, which is really nice.”

Being an alumnus, Boge seems to be the resident Lawrence expert on the team. As a night shift officer, he reported an equally fascinating observation about the Lawrence difference.

“[Wildlife] is different here,” said Boge. “The wild raccoons that we see every night, their main diet is Toppers pizza crust.”