The Student Voice of Coastal Carolina University



Deep dive into University Place security

DPS discusses changes in security procedures and protocols
Taylor Booker
The Department of Public Safety uses this guard booth located at the main entrace of University Place off Jackson Bluff Road.

To combat crime in and surrounding the Conway area from affecting students, there have been changes in safety protocol at University Place (UP) and The Cove at UP. 


Some students have noticed the gates at UP, which previously closed at 11 p.m. each night, have been left open all night with no security guard present. In the past, any individual wishing to enter the premises past 11 p.m. were required to show their CINO ID. 


Lieutenant of Support Services in the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Steven Valenti said opening or closing the gates is the joint decision of housing and DPS. Additionally, security guards now patrol the area, rather than staying in a stationary position for hours at a time at the entrance of UP. 


“There’s a security officer that’s assigned over there, from I believe 10 at night ‘til five or six in the morning,” Valenti said. “Then, throughout the evening, at nighttime hours, there’s a police officer that patrols through there at a regular basis.” 


Many students had concerns regarding protection from people who are not Coastal Carolina University students, since this was the main reason for the closing of the gates in the first place. 


“University Housing doesn’t have visitation policy anymore, so it’s 24-hours visitation. Anyone can have guest at any time at both University Place and here on main campus,” Valenti said. 


Coastal recently began leasing The Cove due to limited space caused by the overflow of incoming freshman. However, many students are questioning how security will make them feel safe like residents at UP.  


“The officer who gets assigned at University Place also patrols The Cove. As well as an officer who is on regular patrol duty drive through there regularly,” Valenti said.  


Crimes or suspicious activity at University Place has circulated a huge concern for some residents, including junior public health major Inyzah Pressley. Pressley said she doesn’t feel safe because she believes there is a lack of safety precautions. 


Cameras were installed recently at The Cove, she said, but provides her little relief. 


“Cameras is not the same as actually having a gate, or having someone walk around to make sure we’re safe,” she said. “If you think about it, The Cove, anybody can just walk in from across the road and they’re here. Same at UP, because they don’t be at the gates anymore. They wonder why we don’t feel safe anymore.” 


Valenti said the cameras installed at The Cove, as well as the officers patrolling the area, are better alternatives to the previous stationary officer in terms of protection. 


“People report crimes all the time. We push ‘see something, say something,’ report suspicious activity, and they do. Putting an officer on patrol is better than having someone stationary at a guard booth,” Valenti said. 


From a student’s perspective, Pressley said the “see something, say something” protocol is not effective.  


“My thing is, rather or not that’s the case, not everyone is comfortable saying something,” Pressley said. “Say there’s a situation and the person you told on, knew that you were the only person who knew that information. They’re going to automatically know who said it.” 

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