‘Security’s complete disregard for our safety’

By on September 11, 2012

Quinnipiac security can be seen around campus everyday, whether they are patrolling the parking lots for unauthorized vehicles or checking students’ Q-cards before letting them enter campus. QU security is supposed to be there for students in times of need, assisting them with problems and helping them out of sticky situations when they arise.

But recently, when a few other Quinnipiac students and I needed a helping hand, QU security refused to even lift a finger.
A few weeks ago, a bunch of my friends and I decided to hike Sleeping Giant Mountain, a common pastime for many QU students on a sunny weekend afternoon.

We slipped into our hiking clothes, laced up our sneakers, loaded up on water bottles and snacks, and off we went to begin our leisurely trek.
Unfortunately, things did not go as smoothly as we planned. Somewhere along the way we made a slight wrong turn, which resulted in us getting just a tad bit lost. And by a tad, I mean we were lost on the mountain for a solid three hours, wandering aimlessly through miles of trees and stumbling on numerous rocks and branches trying to find our way back to civilization.

To make matters even worse, the sunny sky suddenly darkened, and it started to downpour. None of us had thought to bring an umbrella or any kind of rain gear because the weather was beautiful when we first began our hike. Not only were we lost, overwhelmed and tired, we were also soaked to the bone.
When we finally emerged from the seemingly endless forest, we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere, miles away from campus. Luckily one of us recognized our surroundings, and we dejectedly began the long trek back to Quinnipiac.

The road we were walking down was a very narrow back road with hidden twists and curves. There was no sidewalk and no shoulder, making the road a very dangerous road to walk on, even in the most pristine weather conditions.

It was still pouring rain as we made our way back to Quinnipiac. Cars were flying around the tight turns despite the inclement weather, barely swerving out of the way to avoid hitting us, and sometimes almost colliding with the cars in the other lane.

At this point, we did not feel safe walking down this road. We were truly worried about getting injured by a car or causing an accident. We were also exhausted from being lost for countless hours on Sleeping Giant, so we thought, “Why not call Quinnipiac security and see if they can help us out and give us a ride? Surely they will help out a bunch of students in need whose safety is at risk.”

We couldn’t have been more wrong.

When we called QU security and explained our situation, we were rudely informed that there was nothing they could do for us. They refused to pick us up, stating that, “They only transport when there is an injury, and anyway, plenty of people walk or even jog down the back roads near Quinnipiac daily.” Even after we explained that it was pouring rain, that we still had miles to go, and that we didn’t feel safe walking on the narrow road in the rain, they still refused to help us out.

I am still in shock at security’s complete disregard for our safety. On Quinnipiac’s website, it states that, “The Department of Public Safety provides coverage on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The staff responds to all emergencies and requests for assistance.” The staff responds to all emergencies and requests for assistance? Was our situation not a “request for assistance” that they completely and blatantly denied us? Although we were miles away from campus, it was probably only a 15-minute drive by car, but an hour and a half walking-wise. How inconvenient would it have been for them to send someone to come and help us out?

I understand that we were off campus, but whether we’re on or off campus, we are still QU students, and therefore QU security should still be available to assist us.

I live very far away from here, so I am not able to call my parents or any other family members when such predicaments arise. Although there are a few friends I can call to help me out in a sticky situation, a lot of them weren’t around that weekend due to it being Labor Day weekend. QU security was our last option, and they didn’t even seem to care that our safety was at risk. I have heard plenty of stories where QU security picked up students stranded at bars because the shuttles were no longer running, so why couldn’t they spare a few minutes to help out students who accidentally found themselves stranded on a back road in the pouring rain after hours of being lost on the mountain?

Fortunately, we all made it back safe and sound without any help from Quinnipiac security, but the outcome could have easily been a lot different. The fact of the matter is that QU security failed to perform the basics of its job – ensuring student safety. I hope in the future, when other QU students get lost on the mountain and seek assistance from QU security, that they don’t leave them to fend for themselves in a dangerous situation like they did to us.

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About Jennifer T. Scarlett