Security staff part of the problem

Before I read [last issue’s letter to the editor], I did not realize how serious the security issue had become on campus. That said, I have finally decided to tell someone about my security (or lack thereof) story. Security escorts are advertised on campus all the time. They are said to be available 24/7 and always ready to pick you up and take your call. Sure, I know some people use it because they are too tired to walk, but if you’re paying more than $40K a year for school, you would think they would let you have a break just once.

Last semester I was stalked by someone who was not a student. Naturally, I jumped at every sound and I was terrified by any shadow I saw. Usually when I got back to campus and parked in the Ponce Garage late at night, I would peek into the police station only to see no one there. I would usually just roll my eyes and sigh while walking the six minutes from the garage to Hecht. The first night I was back at UM after having discovered that I was being stalked, I was alone and terrified of having to walk all the way back to Hecht by myself. Since I parked in Ponce, I thought it would be convenient to go to the police station and ask for an escort. When I went inside I was surprised to actually find someone there. I asked him to call for a security escort and he trudged to the phone as if he was completely bothered by my presence. When he made the call, I could hear the person at the other end of the line. He was complaining about having to pick me up and told the man to tell me that the shuttles were still running. It was midnight and, besides the fact that everyone knows a shuttle would never show up at that time, I was too scared to sit at the bus stop and wait.

When the man stepped out of his office to tell me about the shuttle, tears were ready to fall. However, I put on my best steely pre-law voice and told him that I was being stalked. The man’s eyes widened and he ran back to the phone, telling the other man that he should get over there and to hurry. When the man came to pick me up he was nice enough, but I knew that he was annoyed at actually having to do work. He then had the nerve to ask me why I had called for an escort. I said, “Because I’m being stalked.” He then said, “Oh, you’re being stalked? Well I didn’t know that. I’m the head of security; I’m supposed to know these things.” Yeah, that’s what I thought too.

– Caroline Mauriello