On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Dean of Students office and the 72nd Student Congress hosted a public student forum to address the concerns of safety on and off campus after weeks of incidents that took place in our community. In attendance were not only students across all grades, but Fr. Kenneth Sicard O.P., Executive President of Providence College; Ann Manchester Molak, Executive Vice President of Providence College; Steven Sears, VP of Student Affairs and dean of students; Eric Croce, interim chief of Public Safety; and Roger Aspinall of the Providence Police Department.
The purpose of the forum was to allow students to voice their concerns, opinions, and thoughts, and suggest possible solutions to the safety and security of all students, whether on- or off-campus. The turnout of students was remarkable, as ’64 Hall was not only filled but actually overflowing— some students had to stand outside the doors.
Croce shared a PowerPoint Presentation of events that were recorded over the last few weeks that took place both on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods.. He also explained the CLERY Act, which outlines what Public Safety is mandated to report to the student body. At the end of the presentation, prior to students asking questions and sharing experiences, Croce proposed measures that were to be taken by the Office of Public Safety as well as the student body and the Providence Police Department.
During the discussion, students voiced concerns for their safety within their own dorm buildings and the security of others. Many students that identified themselves as off-campus students voiced concerns over traveling off campus as well as on campus during all parts of the day. Other concerns included the lack of communication between Public Safety and students when the events that occurred directly compromised students’ safety; students believed that they were owed more communication than they received. Both Croce and Aspinall were able to take turns answering questions as well as give commentary to the experiences shared by the students.
The Dean of Students Office and the 72nd Student Congress are thankful for the participation of the student body and look forward to continuing a prosperous relationship with the Office of Public Safety and the Providence Police Department.