Trending crimes, student rights and safety procedures are important for a student to be aware of, if only for peace of mind.
This year, there’ve been two break-ins and an attempted break-in in the student parking lots. The door locks on vehicles are being popped out of the door casing, making it easy to open the door and take valuables.
Crimes increase during the winter months, beginning in November. Textbooks are a hot commodity because receipts and proof of purchase are not required to sell them back to the student store or online.
Chris MacKersie, director of safety and assistant director of facilities, who makes sure both campuses run smoothly.
“I believe in Homeland Security’s motto: ‘If you see something, say something,’” MacKersie said. “If you see something or someone, and you have a strong gut feeling that something is wrong, tell campus security.”
Weapons on campus are a touchy subject, MacKersie said. Knives are allowed on campus as long as they fit in a pocket, but they can’t be visible in case someone feels threatened or intimidated by it.
According to the Student Code of Conduct, weapons, including concealed weapons, are prohibited on campus, even with a permit.
It’s stated in the Student Code of Conduct as ‘possession or use (to include exhibiting, displaying or drawing of any weapon) of firearms, explosives, other weapons or dangerous chemicals or any other device or substance which can be used to inflict bodily harm on college premise or at college-sponsored or supervised activities, except for authorized college purposes or for law enforcement officers.
Medicinal and recreational marijuana:
With the passing of Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana use in Washington state, Pierce College Puyallup still prohibits the use or carry of marijuana on campus whether it’s for medicinal or recreational use. Marijuana is illegal under federal law and because the college is funded federally, the college always follows federal law, MacKersie said.
Campus safety office information:
“The campus safety office this year is becoming more proficient in emergency management, taking eight hour training days throughout the school year, including the Fort Steilacoom campus,” Security Officer Maureen Rickertsen said.
One rule in the Student Code of Conduct that is usually overlooked is rule 15. If a security officer asks a student to identify themselves by I.D., the student must show the officer. The student can then appeal later, but it’s required for a student to do as they are asked.
“We offer a lot of information here,” Rickertsen said. “Also, some of the services we offer here are vehicle unlocks, battery jumps and walking you to your car.”
Lost and found:
More than 78 items have been turned into lost and found this year and are waiting for their owners to claim them. Textbooks that are found and not claimed are sold back to the bookstore at the end of each quarter; the money from the sales is given to the Pierce College scholarship fund.
Unclaimed items that are not perishable will be donated to Goodwill at the end of the school year.
Animals are prohibited in college buildings unless they’re service animals. For more information on how to obtain paperwork to have a service animal, contact Agnes Steward, dean of student success and access and disability coordinator.
Tickets and permits:
Student parking permits should be renewed every year. The majority of the time, a student will receive a written warning before being ticketed. Tickets fees can range anywhere from $10-$25. Failing to yield to the right of way or speeding can result in a minimum $10 fee, while parking in a carpool spot without a correct permit is $25.
If a student fails to pay their tickets, transcripts will be withheld until the fines are paid.
The campus safety office staff is willing to help the student body. If questions arise the campus safety office staff will be more than willing to answer them.
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