Safety on Campus: Pepper Spray

By Hilary Broman, Senior Staff Reporter

Nursing major, Marcela, believes that students, especially women, should be able to carry pepper spray on campus when they have classes late at night, she said.

However, pepper spray is considered a banned weapon on CNM campuses, said Louis Medina, Deputy Chief of Safety and Security.

Main campus has more reported crimes against women than any other CNM campus, according to the Clery Act, a document disclosing campus security policy and campus crime statistics.

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*No Crimes reported at Rio Rancho and STEMulus Center*

Although nursing major, Marcela, is not surprised by this fact she stated that she feels safe at Main Campus, because she takes morning classes and she recommends that students try to take classes during the day in order to stay safe.

However, she knows that many students have to take night classes due to their schedule.

“It’s hard, because people work, they have to take classes late. It’s hard for a lot of people,” she said.

How can students who have to take night classes feel safe if they cannot carry pepper spray?

“Know a little bit of self-defense,” said Zaya Osborn, Earth and Planetary Sciences major, “at least enough to know how to get out of holds and run away, enough to get yourself to safety.”

Osborn also aims to take morning classes to avoid coming to campus late at night.

“I live in Albuquerque and Albuquerque is more dangerous at night,” she said.

John Corvino, Chief of Security and Safety, is aware of the challenging climate that Albuquerque faces.

“Crime is rampant, it’s more outrageous than it’s ever been,” Corvino said, “but we’re doing our best.”

Students who feel unsafe walking to and from their car can call for a security escort at (505) 224- 3002.

“Don’t hesitate,” Corvino said, “If you are here late at night, call us. We are happy to do it. We’ll give you a ride, we’ll walk with you. We’re going to get you to your car safe.”

The security department is being innovative in their approach to increase safety on main campus.

They just implemented a new bike patrol system in which officers can patrol the entire perimeter of campus four to six times an hour, Corvino said.

Even with the steps taken by the security department to keep main campus safe, female students like Rebekah Monje, a Diagnostic Medical Sonography major, avoid taking classes at main campus at night.

Although she feels “pretty safe for the most part” on main campus, she prefers to take classes at the Rio Rancho campus if they are later in the day, she said.

“Maybe just for students who have class in the evening there should be a lot more security guards on duty at that time,” Monje said.

If students encounter and emergency they can call security at (505) 224- 3001.

Students can contact security for non-emergencies at (505) 224- 3002. This line is open 24/7.





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