Public Safety Has Presence in Residence Halls
NMU Public Safety opened a small satellite office this semester in a former meeting room near the shared lobby for Hunt and Van Antwerp Halls. Don Peterman (Public Safety) staffs the office from 2-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
“For the duration we’ve been here, it’s been fairly positive,” Peterman said. “The goal is to build relationships with students and hopefully get them to see us in a different light than when we’re just passing through the dorms to respond to issues or problems. It’s a casual, friendly place where they can stop by and ask questions, get information, register their bikes or just say hi.
“They might be more likely to come up and talk to us there on their turf than they would if they see us out and about or have to make a special trip to Public Safety in the Services Building. It would be ideal to find a location where there’s more student volume and traffic, but this is a great start. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and came together this fall with the support of Mike Bath (Public Safety), Housing and Chris Greer (Dean of Students).”
Peterman said he has set up a self-defense class and a couple of alcohol information programs through the satellite. Public Safety and the Health Promotion Office keeps the office stocked with pamphlets on alcohol/other drugs, sexual assault/dating violence and other topics. Public Safety and HPO jointly purchased a traveling kiosk on wheels that is housed in the office and can be rolled between residence halls to deliver programs to students.
“We borrowed the idea from mall kiosks,” said Lenny Shible (Health Promotion Office). “I saw a computer station at St. Vincent’s and we painted and repurposed that. The price was right. We paid about $40 plus the cost of paint. A new metal kiosk would cost about $1,200. We introduced it at the resident adviser training in August and they all loved the idea. It’s nice to be able to house the kiosk in Hunt/Van Antwerp; it’s much more convenient than hauling it from our University Center location to the residence halls each time we need it.”
Based on its successful initiation, Peterman said the Public Safety satellite office will remain available to students during the winter semester.