Emmanuel O. Son, Staff Writer
Photo Credit: Danyka Nebel
Taking care of a private Benedictine university is a blessing, but not an easy task. In order to take care of Saint Martin’s University, many departments must work together to make the campus a better place. New Assistant Director of Public Safety, Daryl Henry, talks about who exactly takes care of our campus. Henry served for 20 years in the Security Forces in the Air Force, 15 years as a Security Supervisor at the Tacoma News Tribune, and two years at the University of Washington Security.
Henry states that everybody takes care of campus and plays a role in that duty. However, Public Safety is mostly responsible for overseeing the campus and looking out for students, faculty and staff, guests, and buildings. Some of Public Safety’s main duties on campus include assisting with escorts at night, given the department runs 24 hours a day. Officers can escort students and faculty to and from their vehicles or buildings at any time of the day. Officers can also assist with transporting students or faculty members who need medical assistance to other parts of campus. Throughout the day, officers are also performing security checks by doing a number of patrols throughout the day, such as walking around buildings and looking out for anything out of the ordinary that might be happening on campus. The Communications team of the department is responsible for making student and staff IDs, as well as taking phone calls. They also serve as the SMU Visitor Center, making sure to always be welcoming towards newcomers to campus.
Some other departments and offices that contribute to taking care of campus are facilities, grounds, and maintenance. Because of the areas where they do work, those departments also contribute to doing security checks for the campus, since they are also constantly going around campus, Henry states. Workers for grounds do work by edging, grass and field maintenance, trash pickup and campus clean up, and whatever it takes to keep the campus looking clean. Workers at facilities are mainly in charge of making sure that buildings function properly. This includes doors, sinks and restrooms, walls and ceilings, and the overall internal and externals of the buildings.
A department of campus that Henry is thankful for is Bon Appetit. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he mentions that they do a great job in feeding members of the community. He also is thankful for Monk’s Bean being a convenient stop for a cup of coffee. Because of the early mornings and long hours he and other officers work, Bon Appetit’s breakfast serves as a quick and convenient meal, he says.
Other departments such as the Abbey, Campus Ministry, and the Counseling and Wellness Center do a good job of checking in with the students and their well-being. They both serve as guidance to members of the community. He mentions that many college students are facing a number of difficulties and are often overwhelmed, so it’s always important to have people who can guide you through tough situations. “If you’re dealing with more than your capable of, it is always good to have someone to speak to,” he says. “The Monks are some of the nicest people that I have ever talked to.”
Henry states that there are also some ways that students and staff can help take care of campus. One important thing to remember is compliance with either a student or full-time staff public safety officer. For example, always comply with an officer when asked to show identification and answer honestly. If there is anything out of the ordinary that is seen, one of the first steps that should be taken is to call Public Safety or the correct department in charge and not just walking past it. Always have the Public Safety phone number saved and be prepared to call it. Henry mentions that despite the patrols done by officers, Public Safety cannot always be everywhere so, “keep your eyes and ears open to unusual situations or people in the area and calling that information in.” “Instead of having ten sets of eyes out there, we’ll have hundreds of sets of eyes,” Henry describes it.