By Ashley DeLeon
Tensions between Public Safety and students in mid-April have allegedly dwindled over the past few weeks according to students at St. Michael’s College. This came after an overwhelming number of student fines and COVID violations this Spring caused uproar on campus.
According to Doug Babcock, director of Public Safety, there have been no internal changes within Public Safety that have prompted this change.
“I’d love to have something particular to point that caused the change, but what’s more likely is the issues around the increased tension was based on a few incidents in the moment, and as we all moved forward, those incidents resolved and the complicating factors returned to near normal levels,” Babcock explained. The director of Public Safety acknowledged the concerns of students, and stated that he made officers aware of the feelings and effects on the student relationships resulting from negative and positive interactions, he said.
“It seems like there are less stories of [people] getting in trouble for minor things. They are definitely being more lenient as the semester is winding down,” said Kenzie Traska ’21. Though Traska has not experienced personal run-ins with Public Safety, she noted an overall sense of leniency on campus, and explained that Public Safety appears to be easygoing compared to a few weeks ago.
Compared to previous instances when students have been fined for multiple offenses, some have even observed a shift in what Public Safety is strongly enforcing.
“I think Public Safety has been trying to be lenient… they just make sure people aren’t in a huge group and everyone is kind of spread out,” according to Annie Serkes ’23. Serkes specified that her observations were of the Townhouse 300s, and did not comment on other areas of campus.
Jeff Vincent, director of residence life, said the number of COVID violations has decreased. Vincent noted, however, that there are still violations weekly.
“I am proud of our students overall,” he said.