Campus Safety is currently in the process of reviewing the Claremont Consortium’s safety notification procedures following a trespassing incident on Pomona College’s campus in October 2015.
Stan Skipworth, director of Campus Safety, explained that a review process typically follows any major incident that involves Campus Safety. According to Skipworth, the incident in October involved a serial trespasser lying in the common hallway of Oldenborg Residence Hall and eventually making sexual advances. The trespasser was ultimately detained and arrested by the Claremont Police Department. The incident, Skipworth said, led Campus Safety to determine that students should be more informed about police activity on campus.
“We needed to reinforce the use of our emergency notification system,” Skipworth said.
This decision to increase the emphasis on emergency notifications resulted from an evaluation process where “relevant parties” from both on-campus and off-campus were consulted, according to Skipworth. The reviews received from these parties help Campus Security improve its services, particularly its notification system.
Students agree that the notification system is one of the most important ways to keep informed on campus security developments.
“I think students do pay attention to these notifications, whether it is a report of a petty crime or a report that there may be spiked drinks at campus parties,” Will Su CM ’16, president of the Associated Students of CMC, said. “I think notifications can definitely contribute to reducing campus crime.”
Su added that the timing of the notifications may aid in deterring crime. As mentioned on the department website, Campus Security often issues timely notifications before an incident, giving ample warning to individuals that might be affected.
“Timely notifications indicate that safety is taken seriously and enforced at the Claremont Colleges,” Su said.
While student involvement in the review process has been minimal, students are encouraged to contribute suggestions through the Campus Safety Silent Witness website. “I regularly review those suggestions,” Skipworth said. “And, when contact information is required, will personally respond.”
Some students do have suggestions in mind; Clare Dawson CM ’18 supported the idea of a student group that could interact with Campus Security to develop further methods for students to prevent crime on campus.
“Maybe there could also be better communication about whether [incidents] were ever resolved,” Dawson said. “But I think that [Campus Security] does a good job of telling us what to be aware of, which is the important part.”