Safety at Stony Brook - Impossible to Control Everything

Stony Brook Students

By Amanda Blustein

by Amanda Blustein
Unigo Campus Rep at Stony Brook

In between classes, getting some work done, and sitting down for a cup of coffee-seems pretty ordinary for a Monday.  Once you get a phone call about a supposed “armed perpetrator on campus”- well, that’s not really so ordinary anymore.

Unfortunately, in light of the occurrences of the past few years, schools have nothing but the worst in mind when they receive word of a possible threat. This is the situation that SUNY Stony Brook was confronted with on February 25th, 2008. 

administration bldngDespite mixed reactions to the day, Stony Brook took all measures that were within reason. SB ALERT text messages, phone calls, and website updates were provided as a warning.

Regardless of the confusion and rumors, Stony Brook came out with an official statement that there no longer appeared to be any kind of immediate danger.  The collective story describes a man who attempted to steal food from the Student Activities Center (SAC).  After a worker confronted the man, he allegedly showed a gun, and fled to Harriman Hall.  No one was injured, and reports later said there was no gun.

Safety on campus here at Stony Brook has been publicized as a concern fairly recently, but the school really has a wide variety of programs in order to ensure the wellbeing of students.  In general, people do not usually feel as though they are at risk.  

The Residential Safety Program (RSP) is just one of Stony Brook’s attempts to make the campus a safe place for students, and in particular, residents.  There is a “Walk Service Program” that is designed to give students a safe alternative to walking alone at night by providing an escort.  On top of this, building monitors are present at the front of each Resident Hall, and spend their night checking the identification of those who enter the building, as well as signing in those who do not live there.

As you walk around the campus, you may notice blue lights that shine rather brightly at night.  These “blue-light phones” are like a safety line, and being aware of the position of the lights can inevitably save you from a harmful situation.  Students should keep a mental note of where these are located in case of an emergency.

At night, campus is closed off, with the exception of the main entrance.  Here, security checks to be sure that every single car that enters Stony Brook’s campus has a valid Stony Brook ID card with them.  Without the identification of someone in the car as a student, the vehicle cannot enter.

Not all security measures are only present at night, as there are police that patrol the campus at all times.  They are members of the New York State Department, and yes, they can give you a ticket!

Entering a Resident Hall requires a student ID during the day as well, as a student must swipe his or her card to be let into the building.  Student IDs do not let anyone into a building unless it is the one in which the person lives.  Once a resident has entered, he or she must have a key to get into a suite or room.  Always remember to lock the doors to your rooms, and do not prop the outside doors!

Even though there are a wide range of safety measures taken by the University, it should be mandatory that all Stony Brook students sign up for the SB ALERT.  In this way, during an emergency, the system sends out text messages and phone calls, just like that of February 25th.  There is also information posted on the website.  Make sure you sign up for SB ALERT! It can really save your life.

When John Kunar, a student in his junior year here at Stony Brook, was asked about his feelings of safety on campus, he simply said, “Just don’t be stupid- the school can only control so much.”

Stony Brook is like any other campus.  There is no way to guarantee that nothing will ever happen.  However, students should always be aware that it is not the best idea to walk alone at night, or engage in activity that could end badly.  Take all safety precautions that would normally be taken, no matter where you would be living. Stony Brook is active and on top of the situation, but it is simply not worth the risk anywhere.