Vice President, Global Campus Safety Marlon Lynch, and Department of Public Safety (DPS) personnel participated in a wide-ranging campus safety discussion with more than 40 students on Friday, November 30, in NYU's Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life.

Presented in conjunction with the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Governance Council of Minority and Marginalized Students (GCOMMS), and facilitated by NYU Presidential Intern Anesu Nyatanga ‘19, the two-hour event included prepared remarks from six DPS staff members in response to questions submitted prior to the event, as well as questions taken directly from the students.

We feel it is important to be here, to have this opportunity to engage with our community not just in times of need, but in general, said Lynch. We can’t just make assumptions that this [program or service] is what you want and how you want it. We have to have a discussion about what your needs and expectations are, and how we can work together to keep our university safe.

Students wanted to know how their feedback is internalized within DPS and how it improves services provided to the community.

Please tell us if you see or experience something that’s not living up to your expectations, said Associate Vice President, Public Safety Fountain Walker. Your feedback informs how we evolve and structure the training for our uniformed personnel.

Walker explained the robust Public Safety Officer training program that includes two months of new-hire training and eight to ten hours of training annually for all personnel.

The Safe NYU app was also beta tested with students.

[Students] were the ones who are going to use the app the most, so we brought in students as part of the beta testing, said Associate Vice President, Emergency Preparedness and Continuity Jack Briggs. One enhancement from including students was adding the text feature for emergencies, so you don’t have to call someone, you can just text for help.

Associate Vice President, Planning, Policy and Engagement Natalie Hidalgo mentioned that students who use transportation will have a voice on a new Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) led by Assistant Director, Transportation Greg Rivas. The committee will be a forum to improve shuttle and safe ride service.

A select group of students will also come together with faculty, staff, and DPS personnel to form the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), which will provide a broader channel for suggestions and enhancements to offerings across the DPS service catalog.

During the question and answer session, students asked Lynch about the expectations of Public Safety Officers and specifically how they deliver service. After answering the questions, Lynch suggested additional means of furthering the conversation regarding feedback - including using the Department’s anonymous web comment form or the Bias Response Line - and encouraged students to let DPS know when they felt the service they experienced was not up to their standards.