As the fall semester approaches and student enrollment grows steadily each year, security measures on campus are constantly being revised to accommodate a larger student body.
Stephen Prentice, associate director of parking services, said the University Police Department and Parking Services are working together to upgrade cameras in the LBJ Student Center Garage. One of eight garages on campus that are currently equipped with camera security features.
Student Body President Connor Clegg revealed several goals his administration plans to implement this semester to foster an environment of safety and security for victims of sexual assault on campus.
Clegg spoke of implementing a Student Government sponsored peer assistance program for student advocates against sexual assault that would be trained through the Office of Equity and Access (Title IX) on how to report and help survivors of sexual assault on campus.
“I’d like to see Bobcats looking out for other Bobcats, students looking out for other students,” Clegg said. “We want to allow folks to feel comfortable talking to their fellow students, because at that point, we can start the process to de-stigmatize sexual assault and reporting sexual assault on campus.”
Gilda Garcia, Title IX coordinator for Texas State, confirmed a proposal that was submitted in February of this year for a state-funded grant called the College Campus Initiative in order to provide an advocate for sexual assault victims through the University Police Department.
“The people who worked on this proposal are folks who have been involved in victim advocacy before,” Garcia said. “So in addition to this proposal, we have some very experienced professionals on campus that participated in the proposal writing.”
The Title IX office has not received confirmation from the governor’s office for the grant at this time.
Captain Rickey Lattie of the UPD spoke on campus and community outreach programs, including the citizens emergency response team and Citizens Police Academy, which focuses on increasing the relationships between students, faculty, staff and police officers.
“We’re working on what we call a citizens emergency response team and we started forming the team and started their training, but we’re in the process of hiring a new emergency response coordinator and getting that program restructured,” Lattie said. “The citizens emergency response team is mostly volunteers that are brought in and trained to assist the police and emergency responders, usually as medics.”
Lattie also spoke of the Bobcat Guardian App, a safety initiative by UPD allowing students to send anonymous tips to report crime by text as well as set safety timers to alert UPD and guardians if the timer is not deactivated within a certain amount of time. Location tracking can also be enabled through the app, which allows users to track friends and family with the knowledge of all users involved.
According to the Bobcat Guardian’s database, there are approximately 1,420 Guardian App users at this time, which accounts for less than 4 percent of the total student body at Texas State.
To learn more about citizen outreach programs or the Bobcat Guardian App, visit the UPD website.