Rylee McDonal~Copy Editor

As school shootings and hate crimes permeate the airways around the country, classes are in full swing at the University of Lynchburg with questions around campus safety.

Mia Brown, class of 2027, said, “I’m glad they’re here if I need them. However, I am also intimidated, even if I haven’t done anything wrong.” 

She went on to state that, after coming here from Fairfax she, “didn’t realize how dangerous Lynchburg was. Back home, when something happens, everyone knows and it gets handled pretty quickly.” 

Brown also said, “I feel a bit paranoid and nervous about being here. I feel that it is mostly due to the fact that I am not with my family that the issue arises. I do not have the same amount of people who can protect me.” 

The University of Lynchburg started the year with one of its largest incoming classes in the past four years, and several new faces in the office of Campus Safety and Security. 

Chief of Campus Safety and Security Esteban Soto who has been working and overseeing campus safety since 2021 said, “The Campus Safety and Security staff has not increased. What has changed is that many have retired or resigned. Thus, we do have some new staff.”

However, on Saturday, Sept. 2, an altercation occurred at the Domino’s near the Peaksview Apartments. 

William Rice, class of 2027, visited Domino’s for dinner when the manager at the time allegedly became verbally aggressive. 

Rice had reported the incident to campus security, who took 15 minutes to arrive on the scene.

Once inside, the manager became even more verbally aggressive and got into Rice’s face, making crude comments while security stood by.

Rice also stated, “Security had the wrong information, allowed her to get into my face, and laughed at many of the comments she was making towards me.”
Rice said, “This made me feel as security couldn’t do anything to protect the student body and like the university isn’t justified in handling more dangerous real situations if they were to occur. I believe we can follow other university examples and increase our security rights to be able to do more for the students that pay to live in a safe student environment. If you look at

crime logs almost everything is unfounded or reported to LPD with no information to go on for investigation. This leaves me wondering how much money we provide for ‘safety’ on campus and what they can even do besides refer reports to LPD which students can do for free on their own.”

While many new students are  aware of the presence of Campus Security, some feel safe within the confines of campus.

Emily Weddle, Class of 2027, stated, “I feel perfectly comfortable and safe on campus.” 

Weddle was unaware of any issues on campus, aside from parties, before arriving. Weddle stated, “It is nice to always know there are people here to lookout for you.”

Chief Soto would like to remind students that transportation can be provided by security from dawn till dusk.

Campus Safety encourages students  to  keep valuables out of their cars and out of plain sight in their residence.
Crimes or suspicious activity can be reported on the Livesafe app or by calling 434-544-8452, or through the  emergency number 434-544-5555.

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