After a reporter witnessed a gang altercation on campus last semester, questions begin to arise about how safe we are as students and educators on TJC campus. It is evident that Campus Safety has taken steps to add more employees to fill vacant positions in the department. The question still remains; will manpower alone help decrease the violence on campus or should there be other ways of dealing with these issues? According to TJC Campus Safety, the addition of more employees has given them a better presence on campus. But what happens if the manpower you hire is intimidated by the thugs that have made TJC a hub for their gang activity?Last semester a few gangbangers came on campus Nov. 9 and went after a student outside Hudnall Hall. Yes, there were Campus Safety officers there, but when approached and asked what was going on, they said it was nothing and that the students were just chasing a raccoon that fell out of a tree. There was truth in that, but too bad a picture was already taken of the altercation and of the raccoon. That raises concerns in our minds; are they trying to cover up what’s going on to save face, or are the people they hire really that intimidated or that unaware?Campus Safety has vowed to make sure that the ones who are here for an education receive it. “One thing is for sure, if students would cooperate with Campus Safety we could do our jobs a lot better,” said Campus Safety’s Travis Newton.They alone cannot keep our campus safe. After the altercation last semester, a few students were approached and asked if they saw anything, their reply was “no.” One student made the comment, “and even if I did see anything, I wouldn’t tell you.” With this kind of attitude, how do we as students hope to have a safe campus?With support from students there is a possibility that certain problems may be contained, but that street goes both ways. Campus Safety officers must first earn the trust of students. On Jan. 27, in front of Rogers Student Center, a new Campus Safety officer and his partner were witnessed by a reporter in the parking lot revving their engine at two females and one male student as they attempted to cross the parking lot. With this kind of behavior coming from uniformed officials, how do they expect students to cooperate with them when there is so little respect between students and Campus Safety? Sometimes a student might feel that he or she is being a snitch, and by giving up information they will be persecuted or harassed by other individuals. The fact remains that if students don’t take action now, all these situations will continue to get worse and out of control. By not speaking up, we empower them. Gangbangers thrive off fear. But, when they see that the masses are united, they have no choice but to change their ways. Every day we wake up with the hope of being able to accomplish certain tasks, whether it be to obtain an education, to teach, to coach or to lecture. We all fall under certain categories or labels such as: students, parents, educators, professors, and public servants. We all have different titles and different roles in society, but together we all create a symbiotic relationship to reach our independent goals. How do we reach those goals when we have to worry about bullets flying over head, and fights breaking out in the middle of campus?We stand together.

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