On Oct. 13, two anti-abortion protestors came to Meredith’s campus. Both protestors, as The Herald reported in an article on the incident, were not Meredith students. The men were escorted off campus by a Campus Police officer, but the incident sparked concerns about campus safety. Students expressed concerns about how the protestors were able to access the campus so easily and how long it took Campus Police to arrive.
Concerns about Campus Police have been ongoing for quite some time on campus. Back in 2020, when the Instagram account @dearmereco was still active, students shared their negative interactions with Campus Police officers. One student shared that two campus security guards closely inspected her car for a parking decal, but didn’t to others.
Lex Hanson, ‘23, experienced communication issues with Campus Police this past summer. She was unable to use her CamCard to get into The Oaks. Hanson sent an initial email to Chyna McQueen, the Apartment Manager, for assistance but did not hear back.
She then reached out to Campus Police for help. It took them 45 minutes to get there, and, in that time, Hanson “was already in [her] hall (someone else had let [her] in), took a nap and was getting ready to leave again for work.”
“They were very unapologetic for how long it took for them to get there and did not help me whatsoever,” she said.
The interaction made Hanson feel like she wasn’t seen or heard. “I felt that if they couldn’t show up for something unimportant, then they wouldn’t show up if I actually needed something,” she explained.
Amanda Duran, ‘22, shared a similar experience. Duran was locked out of her apartment around 1 a.m. on a weeknight. According to the Apartment Guide to Community Living, students locked out of their apartments on Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m, on weekends and during campus closing should contact Campus Police.
However, when Duran did this, they received no response. “I called them three times within the span of an hour, and they never answered me,” she said.
Though Duran wasn’t in any danger, they said it was concerning that no one picked up. “If I was actually in danger, they were not answering,” she said.
Another student, who wanted to remain anonymous, shared her experience of a car accident that happened close to campus in January of 2021. During a storm, she hit a guardrail on I-440 and hydroplaned. She explained that her car was visibly damaged, saying, “My radiator was hanging by a thread, and my bumper had [torn] off completely.”
Though her car was damaged, she decided to drive back to campus. When she arrived at the front guard house, the security guard at the front “just stared at [her].”
“She never once asked me if I was okay or if there was anything she could do to help me,” the student said. “All she did was lift the gate and let me in.”
Looking back, the student wishes that there had been more concern about her wellbeing. “It really made me feel like I wasn’t cared about at Meredith,” she stated.
More than anything, all three students want Campus Police to show up when students call them. “That’s their job,” Hanson said.
In the future, the anonymous student hopes that incidents like this are taken more seriously.
“I hope that if someone came through the front [gate] with the hood [of their car] messed up that they would take some consideration in asking if we’re okay,” she said. “If we are supposed to have top security, they aren’t acting like it.”
By Aminah Jenkins, Editor in Chief