NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Do female students feel safe on campus?

Women share their perspectives

Women’s public safety has been a huge topic of concern around the United States, and college campuses have been a main concern. Safety of students should be the first priority of Northern Essex, second is education, but is that the case? About 50% of public schools in the country have armed officers present, and Northern Essex is not one of them. While stories such as Brock Turner have been so popular in the media, female students safety has been more of a concern.

When talking to different female Northern Essex students about how they feel about their own safety here on campus, there were many different opinions. Vanessa Muthee, a 19 year old Northern Essex student seemed to not worry too much about her safety being threatened on campus… “I feel that NECC is comfortable environment for me, I’ve been to colleges where that wasn’t the case but i’ve never felt unsafe here.” Muthee has never felt her safety was threatened on campus and that is what we hope every student feels like.

I feel that NECC is comfortable environment for me, I’ve been to colleges where that wasn’t the case but i’ve never felt unsafe here.
Vanessa Muthee

I then spoke to Zoe Clark Hanson who although said she felt safe on campus she has dealt with an unnerving classmate… “He was always staring at girls trying to make them uncomfortable and making creepy comments.” As a student myself, this seems to be a common issue and I encourage you to speak up and report any unnerving incidents to the public safety department here at Northern Essex. The contact number for public safety in Haverhill is 978-556-3689, in Lawrence 978-665-5939, or Riverwalk 978-659-1299.

Lastly I spoke to Lexi Fontaine, Opinion Editor, who had  a lot to say on the topic… “As a female student I’ve never felt unsafe in any particular situation, however after I found out that there were only 2 security guards on NECC’s campus it made me question the safety of the school over all. A lot of college campuses where students live on them have their own police stations and complete own security system in place. I understand that since we are a community college and a commuter college that it is a different situation, but the safety and security of students should be the number one priority. For example we do have something similar to a ‘blue light’ system in the parking lot where if you ever feel unsafe walking to your car you can press the button to call the police, but these buttons are very poorly advertised. Many people don’t know we have them and could not tell you where they are which would not be helpful in an emergency situation outside. I think overall northern Essex could do a better job communicating with its students about public safety and our safety, and in general make students know that they are safe.” Although Fontaine has not had any eccounters that threatened her own safety, she still worries about the lack of security overall. She also stated that many students don’t know about the blue lights in the parking lot which is something all students should be educated about.

Public Safety should be Northern Essex first priority, female students safety is a huge concern in our country and should be something that is taken very seriously within this school. If you see or hear something, speak up and report the incident to the public safety department.