By: Joanthan Baca, Senior Reporter | Photo By: Stefany Olivas, Managing Editor
The Executive Council of Students, along with Campus Safety Services, the Student Allocation Board and a number of community volunteers, found many problems during the second Campus Safety Walk, said ECOS President Stephen Martos.
Teams of three walked through Main Campus on Friday, Oct. 26, making notes of safety hazards — including broken or dim lights, damaged electrical fixtures, tripping hazards and numerous emergency poles that have been out of order for some time, said Martos.
“The Safety Walk is essentially an event to review the facilities and make sure that we are being proactive against potential safety risks to students,” said Martos.
That some positives were that the emergency poles that were operational worked well and that Dispatch answered the call buttons alarms immediately, said Martos.
The walk was planned in cooperation with the Safety and Security departments and the Student Allocation Board, said Martos. Campus Safety Specialist Jim Moffett attended and said he felt the Safety Walk was a great idea.
“These are eyes for us, and this gives us a whole new perspective on things. It’s not just coming from our eyes, it’s coming from students’ eyes,” said Moffett.
The Safety Services department consists of himself and only one other employee for all seven campuses, and that being aware of every potential safety concern can be very challenging, said Martos.
“We try to keep on top of everything, but it’s pretty hard sometimes,” said Moffett.
Martos said that ECOS plans to compile the findings of the Safety Walk into a formal report. Copies will be given to the Security and Maintenance departments and to Administration for consideration, he said. He said he hopes the school will give the report serious consideration and will act quickly to address some of the issues identified.
Moffet said that there is a long complicated process for dealing with new safety issues. He said people who notice a problem need to report it to their dean or head of department, who can then put in a work order using the Footprints computer program. The issue then goes to the Security and Safety departments, who send the issue to the Physical Plant Department. The PPD then secures funds, takes quotes for the work and chooses a vendor or sends a CNM Maintenance employee to fix the problem.
“Sometimes things seem to take a long time, but the wheels turn a little slow,” said Moffett.
Martos said that although he felt some issues should be addressed more quickly, he felt that the school is doing the best job possible with the resources available.
“I know we’ve had some funding cuts lately, and I think they do the best they can with what they have,” he said.
Once the report has been filed, ECOS will continue to check in and make sure that the administration and the Security and Maintenance departments are making progress in addressing the safety concerns they identified, said Martos.
“We’re really going to be pushing it this time and make sure things are being done and that we’re doing what we need to keep students safe,” said Martos.
He said he felt that the Safety Walk was a success, and that he hopes to continue the event and eventually expand it to all the other campuses.