FPU’s sense of security

How students, staff and faculty feel about FPU’s safety

Outside of FPU’s walls, it’s no secret that there are all types of dangers. With this being said, FPU has been able to remain safe until recently, when there was a run-in with a potentially dangerous individual on FPU Property. Students were told to lock and secure themselves indoors, while Fresno PDworked to stop access to all roads around campus. The entire campus was on lockdown and access to campus was suspended for roughly 30 minutes. 

There is a clear trend that has been growing in America, and that  disgruntled students taking their personal issues into their own hands and becoming judge, jury and executioner for their peers.

Regardless of the community, students and staff are questioning their safety in schools and it is important to acknowledge their feelings of unease, especially at FPU.

After this incident, there was an increased inquiry and curiosity about students’ and faculties’ safety on campus. Billie Jean Wiebe, Associate Professor, Communication & English & Program Director of Communication who has taught at FPU for 27 years, said that she does feel safe on campus and that crime is not exclusive to one singular area.

“Crime is distributed all across Fresno” Wiebe said. 

She also stated that there is no guarantee when or where a crime will occur.

“It is almost impossible to protect against an active shooter but in the next few months Campus Safety will be teaching the community how to defend against attack,” Wiebe said.

This feeling of security is not only felt by faculty on campus, but by students as well. Marya Ghafur, a sophomore at Fresno Pacific, said that she has always felt safe on campus from the start.

 “I know that there are people looking out for us, we have campus security watching, and if there is a threat, I know the people at FPU will help each other. It’s a community here and I know that each of us will keep each other safe” Ghafur said.

She also stated that although she feels safe, her feelings slightly change at night. 

“Only when I am doing homework late at night and I have to walk back to my room do I feel slightly unsafe. I know what is around me. I just think it’s important to be aware of your surroundings” Ghafur said. 

It is important to note that for students who might feel uncomfortable walking by themselves at any point during the day, campus safety officers are always on-call to escort students to their cars or homes

It is important to note that for students who might feel uncomfortable walking by themselves at any point during the day, campus safety officers are always on-call to escort students to their cars or homes.

Officer Luis has been at FPU for about 3 years and has felt safe on this campus from the start. He believes that he is fully capable of handling almost any situation thrown at him due to his 20 years of experience in law enforcement. 

 “Most situations can be deescalated by conversation, using words to stop a potential threat is one of the greatest tools” Luis said.

Officer Luis is using his knowledge as the Emergency Coordinator to train staff and potentially students to defend themselves in case of potential threats on campus. He plans to have an open class for students who wish to learn to defend themselves in November and December. 

During the President’s State of the University speech on September 18, President Jones addressed the results of the Campus Safety surveys, which show that for three years students have continued to feel safe.

“For the third year, Campus safety has done a student survey, and for the third year, students reported that they feel very safe on all of our campuses,” Jones said.

It may be relieving to know that our campus continues to remain safe, and free of any adversary against the pursuit of our education. But even then, we must take responsibility as students and continue to stay aware of where we stand and take advantage of the safety measures that are given to us.

In the case of an emergency on-campus or to receive protective services such as being escorted to your car or home, call campus safety at (559) 453-2298.

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