Security relies on students to protect campus

by Brandon Ortale

While Simpson security has a non-student staff member on duty at all times, the office relies on students to round out its staff.

Students who work in security are often criminal justice majors who are looking for a way to get experience in the field, but they don’t have to be.

The student security staff usually works Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights because those are the most active nights and may require more people on duty. Their hours can be from 8 p.m. to midnight or as late as 3 a.m.

Freshman Caitlin Plummer said she’s glad to have someone on duty all the time, even if it is her fellow students.

“I’d feel more comfortable with someone actually trained for the job because if a problem came up, they would know what to do right then rather than having to think about it,” Plummer said. “But students as security is better than none at all.”

Sophomore Ben Osenbaugh isn’t sure whether he trusts students to maintain order on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

“I don’t know if I could really trust students on the busiest nights because they’re one of us and they probably do a lot of the things that most college kids do,” Osenbaugh said. “But I’ve never really thought about it and don’t know how qualified they really are.”

Director of Security Chris Frerichs pointed out that busy nights aren’t the only time students work.

“The students also supplement any other events such as move-in-day, sports events, Homecoming, commencement or whenever we need them,” Frerichs said.

According to Frerichs security would like to hire freshmen or sophomores to keep the turnover rate in the office fairly low.

“We want students we can keep for a few years, and so far it has worked since the turnover rate is very low,” Frerichs said.

A high turnover rate would require security to train new people often, and training takes time. According to Frerichs the goal is to cross-train everyone so they can work inside or outside the security office.

Most students who work in security are trained at the end of August for about a week. They learn how to do CPR, defense measures and drug recognition. They also work with the Community Advisors during their summer training by going through practice situations in residence halls.

Training also involves a day where students are shown how to do rounds, how to change access cards for students and where various buildings’ fire panels are. They’re also trained on how to properly write parking tickets.

Every month the security staff meets to see what training they might need to improve or what new training they need.

Despite the time spent training, Frerichs is always glad to add new students to the staff.

“If a student is interested in joining security in the spring they can job shadow during that time to see if they like it or to just get a feel for the job,” Frerichs said.

Junior David Kim said he works in security to get experience.

“I wanted the job because it relates somewhat to my criminal justice major,” Kim said.

Students in security get paid comparable to other work-study jobs. They receive the minimum wage of $5.15 an hour unless they’re promoted to sergeant, then they’re paid $6 an hour.

Frerichs is glad security employs students and staff because they work together to make Simpson safe for its students.

“Obviously security and the staff [of the college] are here for the students,” Frerichs said.