MU Police Chief Terry reflects on spring semester

Marshall University Police Chief James Terry said he understands the campus in a different way than faculty and staff. Terry said he thinks about the personal belongings of students, wonders about alcohol education and considers the dangers of Huntington surrounding the Marshall University downtown campus.

Terry said Marshall is a unique campus for a few reasons. The downtown campus has no protection from the city of Huntington so the Marshall University Police and Huntington Police Department have to be in open communication concerning campus and city safety. He said it is also unique because the layout of campus allows for anyone to enter from off the streets.

Terry said he considers the spring semester to have been a quiet semester in terms of campus safety.

“We had several shootings next to campus and we got that information out fairly quickly through the text alert, no students involved in any of the shootings,” Terry said as he reflected on the last couple of months.

He said he noticed one trend during the semester.

“You can’t leave items unattended,” Terry said.

Graduate student Laura Adkins said ignorance is bliss when it came to her experience of campus safety.

“I used to live on campus for three years and then lived at The Village for two years and always felt safe walking to and from campus even in the dark until I started getting the text alerts,” Adkins said.

Adkins said she thinks the text alerts are a vital tool when it comes to keeping the campus safe but also feels they made her more paranoid than she had been before. Adkins said she never feels unsafe leaving her belongings unattended.

“I’m just more conscious now of theft but never felt too concerned in places like the library and student center,” Adkins said.

Terry said he urges students to keep this trend in mind as the semester comes to a close.

“Books are cash and students have so much on their minds near the end of the semester that they leave more possessions just laying around,” Terry said.

Just in the last week, five textbooks were reported missing from room 104 in Gulikson. Terry said the best advice he gives to students when it comes to textbooks is to write your name in a specific spot so that you can include that detail in the police report.

Elayna Conard can be contacted at [email protected].