Rowan Pains

I’m Paul Cardaciotto, and I am a journalism major at Rowan University.

Safety Poles

with one comment


Anyone who lives on campus at Rowan University knows that these days, public safety is the biggest concern for students. Of course public safety is and should be one of the most important concerns on any college campus, but it has been recently heightened on ours due to the events of last semester. Although my blog thus far has taken a look at different aspects of Rowan that I find unsatisfactory, I have decided to go in a different direction with this post and take a look at one of the universities tools to fend off campus wrongdoings: the safety poles.

We have all seen them; the tall, yellow poles with Assistance in big bold letters on the side. There are 54 of these safety poles scattered throughout campus, so no matter where you are you are not far from help. In fact, at any given point on campus you are able to see two safety poles in your immediate vicinity. If that isn’t enough, Tim Michener, the director of public safety, has ordered even more poles to spread around campus.

“We have purchased 35 additional emergency phones,” explains Michener. “Twenty-eight phones will be placed in new locations. The other seven will replace existing phones that we have had maintenance problems with.”

The real question, however, is just how much safer Rowan is with these 54 (and soon to be 82) safety poles? When asked how often someone actually uses an emergency pole, aside from the accidental and prank uses, and if anyone had ever used a safety pole for a real emergency, Michener does recall a few incidents when they did come in handy.

“The poles are rarely used for emergencies, and I’d say we receive one or two calls a week from the emergency poles,” said Michener. “Two main instances come to mind: once to report a sexual assault, and another to report a robbery.”

It is clear that he believes the safety poles increase the well-being of students on campus enough to order another 28 (and costing roughly $4,000 a pop, this is no minor purchase), but the students seem to be a little more skeptical of their practicality.

“Yeah the safety poles are obviously a nice thing to have around the campus, but I have never been in a situation to use one, and I doubt I ever will” said senior RTF major Mike Jones. “I don’t see how one would even help me if I was being attacked. It’s not like pushing a button is going to stop anyone from robbing or stabbing me.”

Steven Latman, a senior mechanical engineering major looks at the safety poles with a more optimistic view. “I really like seeing the poles all over campus. It makes you feel a lot safer when you are walking alone at night after a late class, and I tend to think that they do prevent many potential crimes from happening.”

Whether you find them to be useful or obsolete, the safety poles are here and they do what they are meant to do- connect you to help. Whether you will ever be in a situation in which you will need to use one is questionable, but the bottom line is in today’s society anything is better than nothing.

For further information regarding campus safety, crime prevention, crime logs and security reports, check out Rowan’s public safety page.


Written by rowanpains

March 10, 2008 at 3:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Thanx for the insight into the latest safety measures at Rowan. Safety poles are good to have, but I’d still be more comfortable with real live cops at hand.


    March 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm

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