Editor in chief
Linfield Campus Safety’s mission statement is “to support the mission of Linfield College, and provide a safe setting in which to learn, live and work. LCS will endeavor to address community security need, and to provide assistance and service wherever possible, with impartiality. LCS officers will function with the highest degree of professionalism and fairness.”
Does that involve being forceful in unnecessary situations? Calling for back-up for a single speeding car? Repeatedly harassing students of color? Failing to mention a change of director to the student body?
Students have complained for months about the recent aggressive turn LCS has taken, and the Review has not turned a blind eye to it. These incidents have even been brought to the attention of the Associated Students of Linfield College Cabinet members. While the Review understands that some of these complaints may be nothing more than unsubstantiated rumors, we also understand that there is a degree of truth in these claims.
LCS is also charged with maintaining effective communication with the campus community to support and promote the concept of making a safer community. Maybe it’s a good thing the officers aren’t armed, considering LCS claims to employ the appropriate means to provide a safe environment for learning, living and working.
The Review normally supports Campus Safety and the work it does. We have a good relationship with LCS. We even congratulate LCS on its crime deterrence this year. Compared to last year, campus seems relatively calm. But when students constantly tell us they feel LCS is abusing its power, on students no less, where does that leave us? The Review hopes LCS isn’t just getting bored and harassing students for lack of better things to do.
What about the students’ relationship with Campus Safety? It seems students aren’t happy right now. The last thing the Review wants to see is a strain between the student body and the officers who are charged with protecting it. Surely LCS doesn’t want this either. How are students supposed to feel safe on campus if they do not trust the ones who protect them?
On top of this, students have complained about specific officers. Though this topic has been addressed, at least on the surface, it seems the rumors still persist. It can’t be that LCS doesn’t know about this. The question is what LCS is doing about it. We might not know at the moment, but the Review is intent on figuring it out.
This week, an article in the Review covers this very topic. The story, on page one, describes how students are hesitant to talk to LCS about their specific problems because the officers might see student problems with LCS as nothing more than rumors, and discusses what LCS is doing to step up its game on campus.
All of this is not to say the students are completely innocent, though. We know students cause their fair share of trouble: alcohol violations, noise violations, leaving bikes unlocked, etc. Yes, it is LCS’ job to protect the campus in its entirety, but maybe that can be done without Tasering random students.