46% of students feel unsafe, audit finds - Administrators rethink security measures in dorms

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  • 46% of students feel unsafe, audit finds - Administrators rethink security measures in dorms

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46% of students feel unsafe, audit finds - Administrators rethink security measures in dorms

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Issue date: 4/18/07 Section: News
By Justin Hedani
Ka Leo News Editor

After what is being called the deadliest shooting in American history, the Virginia Tech shooting has many students questioning their safety - especially at the dorms.

"Personally, I don't think there's enough security [at the dorms and] there's a lot of students [to oversee]," said Andrea W., a student at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

The first report of killings was at West Ambler Johnston Hall, on Virginia Tech's campus, where a man and a woman were found dead in their dorm rooms.

"I don't know, it kind of widens your scope," said Leigh Hokawa, a student residing at Gateway House, "[but] it doesn't affect me directly or scare me."

According to the management audit conducted by State Auditor Marion Higa and the Office of the Auditor, "Forty-six percent of the students disagree with this statement: 'I feel safe on campus.'" While in the lower housing district, 43 percent of Noelani residents felt that they were "dissatisfied" with security and the safety of their belongings.

"I don't think it's the fault about security," said Elias Allen, a Gateway suite resident. "I always lock my door; I'm not really worried."

Allen also said if he saw someone suspicious, he would confront them and ask then what they were doing.

Student services are working on ways to improve the safety and security for residents on campus.

"We are putting electronic card access on all the doors in [Hale] Aloha, Wainani, Noelani and front doors only of remaining halls," said Laurie Furutani, interim housing director.

Currently, security and housing staff are coordinating their efforts and security is providing training for resident staff members to make safety a priority.

Neal Sakamoto, chief of security at UHM said that new screen windows will be put into all first floor dormitories so that it will be harder for burglars to get into rooms.

"We've been working with the housing staff to improve doors and windows," Sakamoto said.

In the same audit, it was said that "we recommend that the University of Hawai'i introduce legislation for Campus Security to be given arrest authority and the authority to carry weapons."

"I wouldn't arm the guys I have now," Sakamoto said "[but] we've been looking at adding police officers [to security]. They would be actual police officers, they would have arrest authorities and they will carry guns."

The audit also stated that "there are too few security officers on duty to deter and react to crimes."

Security has requested eight additional security staff members and currently has seven pending background checks. Sakamoto said that 14 to 15 more will be requested for their force next legislative session.

Francisco Hernandez, Vice Chancellor for Students, said that orientations will be held for students to keep them aware of certain dangers.

"I don't think we can change the time tables," Hernandez said. As for locks and other upgrades, he said, "The only thing we're going to do now is review our procedures."

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Original Source: The Voice - Ka Leo
<a href="http://media.www.kaleo.org/media/storage/paper872/news/2007/04/18/News/46.Of.Students.Feel.Unsafe.Audit.Finds-2848717.shtml">http://media.www.kaleo.org/media/storage/paper872/news/2007/04/18/News/46.Of.Students.Feel.Unsafe.Audit.Finds-2848717.shtml</a>
<a href="http://media.www.kaleo.org/media/storage/paper872/news/2007/04/18/News/46.Of.Students.Feel.Unsafe.Audit.Finds-2848717-page2.shtml">http://media.www.kaleo.org/media/storage/paper872/news/2007/04/18/News/46.Of.Students.Feel.Unsafe.Audit.Finds-2848717-page2.shtml</a>

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Justin Hedani

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2008-03-12

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Kacey Beddoes

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Kumari Sherreitt <editor@kaleo.org>

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eng

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Justin Hedani, "46% of students feel unsafe, audit finds - Administrators rethink security measures in dorms," in The April 16 Archive, Item #1819, http://april16archive.org/items/show/1819 (accessed October 24, 2014).