The College of Wooster’s Security and Protective Services Department officially changed its name to Campus Safety, effective on May 1, 2021. While much of their role will remain the same, Campus Safety, led by director Joe Kirk, will work in collaborative ways to address the physical security needs of the campus as well as the mental health and emotional well-being of the student body.
“Campus Safety is an integral part of our divisional effort to ensure that every student is heard and supported when they reach out to us,” said Myrna Hernández, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “Joe and his team are committed to building individual relationships with students and being present campus-wide, challenging the perception that the presence of the safety staff is only necessary when there is a problem.”
In addition to fostering individual relationships with students and assigning specific staff liaisons to residential buildings to provide safety programs, Campus Safety will create intentional substantive partnerships with student organizations and work towards more transparency and accountability.
“As the world and our campus emerge from a global pandemic and ongoing examination of systemic injustice, our department felt called to re-purpose and strengthen our mission,” said Kirk. “As the newly dubbed Campus Safety Department, we strive to amplify the Wooster ethic by listening and responding to the needs of the community while focusing on the safety and well-being of all its members.”
The Campus Safety team will also sport a change in uniform, replacing their black shirts and metal badges with a more approachable blue polo shirt. The staff will dedicate significant time over the next few months to researching the safety needs of the campus community to be better prepared to address those needs proactively in collaboration with community members, supporting a safe, secure, and welcoming environment for all.