Another “phalanx response”, on Sunday, March 2, in Smith.
Over Christmas, as I returned to my car at 2 a.m., I was approached by four muscular campus security officers, in three patrol cars. It was a little scary.
Someone had called in a complaint about a man “trying to break into the library, wearing a hoody.” I had returned some books to the Millar Library dropbox, and then carried the library’s delivered New York Times closer to the revolving doors as a courtesy, pausing to read some headlines first. I’m geeky like that.
After a check with dispatch that I was a bona fide student, the four officers let me on my way. I’ve since noticed this “phalanx of four” routine is common with Campus Public Safety Office (CPSO) responses:
- Last week, I saw a solo CPSO officer patrolling the Broadway. Around the corner, I spotted three more campus security responding to an incident.
- Later in the week, a young man was panhandling all of us in line for coffee in Smith. Someone apparently reported him, as later I spied one officer stationed by the coffee joint, two more interviewing him by the Information Desk, and a fourth officer by the front door on Broadway.
Clearly, CPSO is prepared for any escape in any direction! Their “I-formation” is as impressive as any our football Vikings might run.
I refrained from calling CPSO on the panhandler, as I also did last week when I saw an unstable young man kicking all of the gravel out of the tree beds in front of the Broadway. I imagined an overreaction from CPSO similar to my experience.
Is all this manpower necessary to keep us safe? A greater risk is created, I suggest, if some students avoid calling security in the first place, concerned about overkill. Money would also be saved if CPSO responded with two-man teams.
What do you think? In April, the university will have a security discussion that will include the question of arming these officers with guns. Tell the university what you think here, or add a comment to this blogpost. You can bone up on the recent task force report on campus safety here.
By Emily Skeen
In the immortal words of Jason Robert Brown, “I stand on a precipice, I struggle to keep my balance.” The dictionary defines a precipice as “a very steep rock face or cliff, typically a tall one”. This seems fitting to me because the metaphorical precipice in question is my transition between college and ‘the real word’, and what lies on the other side is a large, terrifying open space, full of student loans I seriously hope I’ll be able to pay off.
There was a time when the thought of this precipice didn’t seem so terrifying. In fact it seemed exciting. Beyond it, to quote another musical, was “the unexamined life” that I couldn’t wait to live, because I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. But now, after 4+ years as an undergrad exploring my interests, the only things I do know are: I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, and I’m not a little girl anymore. The terrifying and exciting nature of that dark pit beyond this precipice is that I get to make the decisions, and all I can do is act on opportunity and hope I don’t screw it all up. Because in reality, it’s still that same exciting “unexamined life”, it’s just a little more unexamined than I had hoped for. But in way, even when you have plans, the future is always unknown, so in that sense, am I really any different from anyone else?
By: Theo Burke
“Hey, I didn’t know it could TALK!”
Not long ago, while working on a PSU Vanguard story, I received a return phone call, within 24 hours, from Scott Gallagher of the University Communications office. I nearly fell down from shock.
I had not received a live phone call in months from anyone other than my mother. And it seemed as though an ever-increasing amount of important people in my life had barricaded themselves behind “email walls.”
When I recently asked to meet with an editor at one of the three student media outlets I worked for, she simply refused to do it. Her supervisor had established a policy, she said, that editors could limit communications with writers to email. No meetings, live conversations, or body language required.
A professor supervising me on a huge term paper could only be reached by email and was only on campus two days per week. She had not even set up the voice mail on her office phone. But this makes her no different from most PSU profs —not a single professor in my three years here has used the office phone.
Mr. Gallagher reminded me what humans are capable of. Follow up. Consideration. Professionalism. Simple human respect and kindness. And he understands that the old standards of professionalism still matter to do your job.
I submit to you all that we will not be able to live without live voice communication and nonverbal body language over the long run. We will not be able to abandon those and hold onto the jobs that we like, as well.
No amount of quiet, feverish tapping on our devices will replace our voices and ourselves.
By: Marilynn Sandoval
It’s a new year and everyone has their resolution chosen, what’s mine? My resolution is to never have a resolution but create changes throughout the year. We all seem to think that having a New Year’s resolution is finally going to get us to change those things we’ve been trying to change, but why wait until a new year? Let’s change these things as soon as possible. Create a better you, without all the wait of a new year.
If it’s the awkward “I don’t want to start on an odd day such as Wednesday” excuse, wait until a Monday rolls around or even the first day of the month but not a whole year. Changing something or pursuing something takes time and commitment. Although it may be hard to find that time, we need to realize that in the end this will have a positive impact in our life. I’ll admit that I am one who chooses to start on a Monday or first day of the month. It’s only because if I don’t, I feel all out of sorts.
Some common resolutions are to be healthier, work out more, lose weight and travel more. To complete these resolutions, start with a piggy bank. Save your change to buy organic foods and buy that gym membership you’ve been wanting. Having more money also leads to living that travel lifestyle you want.
So hurry up and get on it, and don’t wait for next year. Rome is waiting for you!
Being a full time student and commuting from quite a distance has some straining effects on my time. However, the strains tend to be created out of my choice whether I like to admit or not. One of those strains used to prevent me from working out consistently throughout the week. What is ironic is that I never had the time to work out when I used to live on or near campus. One would imagine that being so close to the gym would give me an incentive to workout.
For the last two months, I have successfully worked out throughout the week in one hour sessions. There have been days in which I missed a workout but they are few and far. Whether I am tired, feeling depressed, or if it’s late in the evening, I always have to get a workout done. The results have been satisfactory, I have gained decent amount of muscle.
Working out for two months has proven to me that I can mold my physique, but more importantly, that I could commit to achieve a greater will. I will admit that I work out to look good but consequently I have also started to feel better, perhaps because I know that I can control how my body looks but also how it performs. Ultimately however, my body may be one of the few things in which I have total control in my life.
Tired, slow and unmotivated are just three of the words that describe, well, most of us right now. We are scrambling to figure out what classes to register for and cramming for midterms and our last chance to get an A in that class we’ve been frustrated with all term.
Hey, there are still three more weeks left — isn’t that lovely. This week, however, we need to rejuvenate ourselves and take time to just relax. Of course, we still have to study, but we have the next three weeks to study until our pens run out of ink and pencils break.
So now you are asking, “What I should do instead of pulling my hair out?” Easy.
Step one: Put that book and pencil down. Yes, you heard me right, put it down.
Step two: Go outside by yourself or with a friend, grab a Frisbee or any sport ball and just play. Or go on a walk to refresh your mind.
Step three: Cook yourself dinner, and no, mac-and-cheese or ramen noodles don’t count. Create a meal with chicken, tuna, or if you’re a vegetarian go for a fresh salad with fresh produce and nuts added to it. We all seem to think snacks will get us through the day, but you’re only losing energy by not satisfying your hunger.
Understanding that we all may not have enough time to make that meal, we still have to remember to check our health and listen to what our body is telling us.
Good luck to everyone on midterms and finals!
Adventure is out there. Being in college has taught me to go and explore the world around me. There is something about finding a new place that makes me feel alive: going hiking, exploring a new coffee shop, or even just meeting different people along the way. Adventure is what you make it. Go out and DO.
Go find a mountain.
Go find a park.
Go eat new food.
Go and find a community that supports you.
I challenge all of you this week to go to a place you have never been before. Seek adventure, because you never know what you are going to find.