Caroline Bryant | Feb. 14
Florida Southern College’s SGA is partnering with Campus Safety in efforts to make the campus a safer place.
The Safety Advisory Council (SAC) plans to hold three open meetings this semester to hear out student concerns, to let Safety update students on new information and to consider solutions to complaints. Head Officer Eric Rauch attends every meeting. Lakeland Police Officer Dagon Leach attends depending on his schedule.
“Safety approached the student government and realized they wanted the voices of the students to be heard more,” Head of SAC Claire Winters said.
After Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Sophia Fransisco mentioned the idea of a safety committee, a group of SGA senators, including Winters, decided to make it official. Once the board ( was elected, they would sit and discuss what they felt Safety excelled in and what they needed to improve.
They found that Safety communicates well with students, has a great relationship with them, is available when needed and is transparent during communication.
To make communication even smoother, Rauch decided to go straight to the source.
“My Assistant Director Rusty and I both bring a huge emphasis on customer service. We openly invite all students to let us know how we are doing,” Rauch said. “The council will be a conduit for students that may be afraid of walking into our office. The addition of this council will give our students the opportunity to have a voice that is heard at the top and will also give our students the ability to hold us accountable. The end goal is to establish trust through accountability.”
If students have an immediate situation that needs to be resolved, the council can call Rauch individually about said problem.
At their first meeting on Jan. 18, students were able to speak to Rauch and his team directly. For instance, some students mentioned that they felt officers were inconsiderate when talking with students.
A student from the Center of Disabilities spoke on how difficult it was for disabled and injured students to transport themselves around campus. However, this was a miscommunication, as the student was unaware that Safety could be called for rides around campus.
That’s why Winters said the committee is so important: for people who aren’t as knowledgeable as SGA on the resources available to students.
Despite some belief among students, there wasn’t an event that triggered the creation of SAC. Instead, Winters said it evolved “from a build-up over time.”
“I think there is just a lot of unknown,” Winters said. “You never 100% feel like you’re totally safe and the Safety officers are just a great resource. They’re not some scary people to get you in trouble, they’re really there to help you feel safe, transport you places.”
Part of the build-up includes a lack of student comfort with Safety. While there can be a negative connotation behind Safety as the group that writes up illegally parked cars, SAC is attempting to erase that stigma.