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Pieces of Eight


Forum Explores Survey Results

By Erica Plouffe Lazure

A forum to discuss the results of a campus safety student survey at East Carolina University will be held at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 12, at ECU’s Willis Building.

The hour-long event, “ECUnity Safety Forum,” will offer students and the community a chance to talk with ECU and community administrators, and public safety and transit officials, about efforts made to increase campus safety since the April 2007 survey. They will also discuss the findings of the Oct. 1 campus safety walk. A reception with refreshments will follow.

Survey Response Across Campus

Following are highlights from responses to the campus safety survey:


• ECU Police Department is promoting more police visibility, more interaction between the police and students, and more police involvement in education and training.

• ECU’s director of Student Legal Services is available to students.

• ECU is working to revise its crime Alerts, and to provide better follow-up regarding suspects who have been apprehended.

• ECU’s Dean of Students is working to address the issue of students with severe mental health issues.

ECU Police Department:

• ECU Police Department has 17 officers trained for bicycle patrol with 11 currently riding.

• ECU Police has increased its number of officers by five since June, and are in the process of hiring six more officers for new positions, to total 62 officers once the hiring is complete.

• ECU Police has 30 student patrol officers.

• ECU Police offers the campus community a “ride-along” program to increase understanding of the duties of the officers.

• ECU Police has increased visibility in classroom buildings and parking lots.

• The department offers self-defense courses monthly to students, faculty and staff. Each class is filled to capacity at 25 maximum students.


• A new pedestrian walkway from Jones Residence Hall to College Hill Drive is nearing completion.

• Lighting has been added to targeted areas on both campuses. 

ECU Transit Service:

• Pirate Express provides safe, late-night bus transportation to the downtown area Thursday through Saturday evenings. Most ECU buses used for late-night service are equipped with surveillance cameras.

• Major bus stops are located near high-traffic areas and include lights and blue light phones.

• Safe Ride, a point to point van service, is operated nightly during the academic year for students, faculty and staff both on and off campus within the transit system service area. Police escorts are available (328-6787).   

Parking & Transportation:

• Parking and Transportation Services staff have switched to a different uniform style to avoid confusion with ECU Police officers.

• Parking and Transportation Services has begun working more closely with the ECU Police.

• Parking and Transportation Services has opened many parking lots to all ECU parking permit holders at 3 p.m., to provide closer proximity parking for night classes.

Other initiatives:

• Video cameras: There are 291 video cameras on campus and another 154 cameras are planned.

• Key Card Access: Campus Living is evaluating card entry door access systems for 2008-09.

• LCD Screens: Plans are in the works to have a centrally managed digital sign system.

• Text Messaging capabilities for ECU students introduced this fall, coming for faculty and staff.

• Voice-Over IP: ITCS is testing a Public Announce module. 

Michelle Lieberman, director of ECU’s Center for Off-Campus and Community Living, said the 3,917 survey responses she received from students last semester demonstrates a keen concern for safety on campus and in the surrounding neighborhood. She hopes the forum will help let students know that ECU has heard their concerns and have made efforts to respond to them.

“Too often, survey responses get put on shelves; no one knows what happens to them,” Lieberman said Oct. 22, at the first of the two ECUnity Safety Forums. “We want students to know their concerns have been heard and responded to.”

The aim of the survey was to determine what student perceptions were about campus safety; how they make themselves safe; and what they know about ECU’s campus’ safety resources, such as ECU’s Transit and Safe Ride; ECU Student Patrol; and parking services. Officials have responded in writing to the students’ concerns.

Marilyn Sheerer, ECU interim provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, said the results provide campus safety officials, police, and the surrounding community members with a good direction for its future programs and offerings.

“Please be assured that there is a decided emphasis being placed on safety and security on the ECU campus. Numerous strategy meetings are being held; police visibility has been increased; text messaging is available; planning around emergency response is ongoing; and off-campus services are being increased,” Sheerer said.

Other initiatives include new lights on campus; student parking allowed at 3 p.m. on the main campus; new police hires; and a change of uniform for parking monitors.



This page originally appeared in the October 26, 2007 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at