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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    How students can feel safe on campus, according to SSU police chief

    SSU Chief of Police Nadar Oweis addresses how students can remain vigilant on campus and the importance of crime bulletins
    Courtesy of Chief of police Nadar Oweis discusses the importance of remaining vigilant on campus

    Students have expressed frustrations with campus safety after multiple incidents have occurred over the semester, including a sexual violence case in Stevenson Hall and an aggravated assault on Sequoia Way, but the Sonoma State police force ensures safety for everyone who is on campus. 

    “We are for students and faculty 24/7. We attend on-campus events and host some of our own as well,” Chief of Police Nader Oweis said. “But, most of what we do is we are constantly responding to calls and things that are happening.”

    A major part of keeping the campus safe is the crime bulletins that Oweis sends out. The bulletins contain information about incidents, including tips and resources to use to maintain safety. “People may not see those tips and resources the first few times, but after a while we hope that people see them and know that we are really serious about those tips and resources that we provide,” Oweis said. 

    The protocol for sending out crime bulletins starts with Oweis’ staff receiving the information on what’s happening and to see if the incident meets the federal or the state law and if it doesn’t they ask the question, “is it something that we need to put out.” From there, the information is passed onto Oweis and the decision is made to put out the bulletin or not. 

    “We are always going to err on the side of caution. I’d rather put the bulletins up so people are aware of what is happening, than not,” Oweis said.

    A problem that some Sonoma State students have noticed is the lack of police visibility during the night or while night classes are in session. 

    “I take late night classes and something that I would like to see is more police presence,” Michael Weldon, a fourth year English major, said. “I do feel safe at campus, but at night I never see a police officer walking by, but maybe I have just missed them. 

    Weldon also added that at night he uses the buddy system to stay safe as he believes that there is strength in numbers. “Growing up I had little sisters and we always walked in pairs. I just think that there is strength in having more people present,” Weldon said. 

    Oweis said that the police force staffing levels are the same for both the day and night times.

    If you ever feel unsafe on-campus, Oweis urges people to tell someone immediately as there are various different people they can talk to on-campus. “Obviously they can let the police department know, but they can also go to the health center, Title IV or tell a professor,” Oweis said. “The biggest thing is to tell somebody and then let’s figure out why they are feeling unsafe and if there’s a way that we may be able to provide them some resources.”

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    About the Contributor
    Tony Moeckel
    Tony Moeckel, Staff Writer
    Tony Moeckel is a third year communication major at Sonoma State.
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