Even as the snow slowly melts away, Public Safety officers have been helpful to students facing problems in the winter weather. Throughout the school year, Public Safety officers respond to calls about cars needing a jump start. With the cold weather, one student needed a jump start as well as help getting her car out of the snow-packed parking space.

When turning her key in the ignition, there was no reaction from the vehicle. With a dead battery, the officer called in for a jumper cable. Originally the student said she was going to have a friend pick her up if she could not start her car.

The student was shoveling the snow out from under her car when a second police officer arrived with a jumper cable. Now when turning the key in the ignition, the car started promptly. She thanked the officers for their help.

The officers allowed for the car to warm up for a minute before having her move it out of the parking space. They wanted to make sure that she could get her car out of the spot, as snow still covered part of the hood.

She had a difficult time moving her car in reverse over the snow that remained. The two police officers helped push the car until she was able to drive out of the spot.

“Thank you,” the student said repeatedly, “You guys are awesome.”

Later that same night, Paris helped another person get her car out of the snow-packed parking lot. After the snow storm in January into February, plows had cleared the roads on south campus, which left many cars plowed in.

Many students said it took them over an hour to remove the snow from their cars and make a path to drive out of the parking spots.

Paris once again gave a second car a helpful push so the student was no longer stuck in the spot. Paris suggested backing the car into the spot in order to get out easier in the morning. As Paris helped the student, the two were garrulous about an event the student was attending in the morning.

Paris and other Public Safety officers were also friendly with students and guests in residence halls. In passing, Paris said hello to many of the students in the residence halls. He said it is nice to have a friendly interaction with students.

While doing “rounds” in the residence halls, Paris said many people stay indoors during the cold months. However, in the late hours of the night, many crowds of people were returning home.

In Brandywine and Allegheny, with the suite style of the new residence halls, residents have become victims of theft.

The fall 2009 semester, Public Safety administrators re-advised a program in which officers would check for residents to be in a room with an open door. The program was used previously to this, as checking for unoccupied rooms, while doing rounds.

In traditional housing, this was an attempt to help students from becoming victims of theft. Now in affiliated housing, the officers do not have the advantage of seeing residents inside the rooms as they walk by on rounds.

In affiliated housing, the doors to the rooms have a deadbolt feature that allows the door to remain slightly propped open.

With only having to push open the door to enter the room, Public Safety officers have noticed that people are walking into rooms to steal items if the room is unoccupied.

Paris explained that people have entered the room to see if the residents are inside. If someone is home, the person claims to be looking for a resident by regurgitating a lie about being in the wrong room. However, if no residents are in the room, the person takes it to their advantage to steal any valuables they can.

Theft typically includes TVs, laptops, and other electronic appliances. In other cases, people steal textbooks and sell them back for cash.

Such security checks can only be encouraged. Roommates have to come to an agreement on how to keep their property secure.

Ginger Rae Dunbar is a fourth year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at RD655287@wcupa.edu.

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