By Fikreta Hadzovic
In light of tragic recent events at the University of Virginia and the University of Idaho, students are concerned about safety on campus. The Department of Public Safety at Fairleigh Dickinson University serves to maintain a safe environment for all students and faculty. The Equinox interviewed David Miles, director of public safety, who has been working on the Metropolitan campus for over four decades.
Q: What is our safety like this fall semester on campus?
A: Thankfully, there have only been minor incidents on campus. For example, fire alarms that have been mistakenly activated, medical calls, and personal items that were lost on school grounds.
Q: Is Public Safety allowed to pick up and transport FDU students?
A: We are on call 24 hours, 7 days a week. If there is a medical emergency or when it is dark outside, public safety will arrive as soon as possible. Students that are residents ask for rides when it is dark out. We ensure that the student feels safe on campus by picking them up and dropping them off (on FDU premises).
Q: Have there ever been any burglaries at FDU (Metro campus)?
A: Many years ago, yes. These took place in the residence halls. To help solve this problem, security screens were installed in the apartments that have sliding doors. These screens are heavy-duty and are break-in preventative. Since these were put in, we have not had any incidents occur.
Q: Are there any metal detectors on campus?
A: We use metal detectors at some of the sports events at the Rothman Center as well as some student events that FDU is hosting.
Q: Whenever I go to the Metropolitan campus library, I have to scan my personal ID in order to access the building. Yet when I enter the Dickinson Hall building (on the Hackensack side), I do not have to scan my ID.
A: Public safety is monitoring the Teaneck and Hackensack locations, periodically. We have protocols that we follow on a daily basis to ensure that everyone is safe. There are cameras in and out of all the buildings at FDU that are monitored. If there is ever a suspicious individual or other emergency situation on campus, we can remotely lock all the doors on campus, electronically. After this action is done, no one will be able to enter any of the university’s exterior doors.
Q: In 2016, 27-year-old FDU graduate Weiqi Wang was struck by a car as she was walking on River Road in the crosswalk in front of Library Circle, and later died. What changes have been implemented by FDU and local government, to prevent these fatalities from happening?
A: It was an unfortunate event that happened. The crosswalk in front of the Metropolitan campus library was repainted, new reflective signs with flashing lights have been installed at the crosswalk on both sides of the road and 300 feet before the crosswalk, and new painting in the road was done to caution drivers. Knock on wood, we have not seen or heard of any pedestrian accidents after that tragedy took place.
For more information regarding Fairleigh Dickinson University Metropolitan Campus Department of Public Safety, take a look at the annual security and fire safety report on the university’s website, fdu.edu.