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Campus police install new safety measures for homecoming

By Racquel Barnett
On October 31, 2019

Grambling State University Campus Police tower. Ian Robinson/The Gramblinite

In the wake of an on campus shooting the Grambling State University administration worked quickly to create new safety measures for all events planned for Homecoming Week. 

The challenge for GSU’s administration was to keep events enjoyable for all and still try to ensure safety for all participants. 

In preparation for Homecoming Week the GSU Police Department worked very hard to apply new safety measures. 

“Even though it is our job to ensure the students get an amazing homecoming experience we want everyone to be safe,” GSU President Rick Gallot Jr. said. 

“It is unfortunate in some aspects that our plans have had to change, but, hey, safety first.” 

The change in protocol occurred after two people were shot at an event held on Oct. 21 in the Assembly Center. A campus organization hosted the event where they hired campus police for security. However, that didn’t stop weapons from being brought inside. 

As part of the changes, music was also disallowed at some events and students had to have a valid ID for the haunted house. Students were also not allowed to bring bags or purses to events. 

Campus police also advised students to have a designated driver, to not partake in underage drinking and to avoid unsanctioned block parties Monday through Wednesday.

Outside law enforcement has been brought in from surrounding areas. Gallot said any time there is a large event, outside police forces are asked to assist.  

These new safety measures from GSU’s administration are meant to send a positive message, that they have observed and are taking action to do all they can to make campus life a safe environment for everyone.

“I want there to be a balance, so they don’t feel like they are on lockdown mode,” Gallot said.

GSU Police Chief Jerry Melton said campus police are introducing the clear bag policy throughout all venues and they will be installing a camera system outside of the Assembly Center and on Main Street. 

“The more eyes the better,” Melton said. 

Proper lightning is one of the main goals for the Grambling Police Department that they want to continue to build on. 

“The most important thing is to be more visible,” Melton said. 

“With time hopefully students will learn we are here to help them and keep them safe, so that they are able to have fun and have a safe environment for learning. 

Favrot Student Union Board (FSUB) President Arshauna Candler said she feels prior events have been a learning lesson with the administration, students and law enforcement. 

Candler said she is hopeful that the right precautions and new procedures will cut back on the violence and allow everyone to be safe and have fun. 

Gallot said it is each organization’s responsibility to make sure they have all the necessary tools to ensure a successful event and that the organization presidents should make sure their hard work is not in vain. 

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