TSU Students Voice Safety Concerns
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A rash of vandalism on the campus of Tennessee State University has students taking a stand. They gathered en masse on Thursday to voice their concerns and it's getting the administration's attention.
"It's time for us to speak out," Student Government Association President DeVonte Johnson said about a message he posted online. "It's time for us to rally behind each other and kind of just you know let people know about this ownership. We need to take ownership in our university."
Windows at the library were broken on multiple occasions. The latest incident seemed to the be the final straw for students, but that's not the only concern.
"We don't know if it's students or outside sources but there's breaking of windows," Johnson said.
"This isn't the first incident with the windows being broken," Junior Taelor Reese said. "We've had people tee pee the student center. We've had eggs being thrown everywhere. We've had fights."
It has some questioning if their tuition dollars are being spent on keeping them safe.
"There's nothing wrong with having cameras somewhere," freshman Briana Brooks said. "So if something were to happen…you would have proof of who did this and who did that instead of ruining it for everyone."
Their collective concern is getting the administrations attention, as they reassure students that safety is a priority. Students are also sending a message to each other.
"Personally to me it shows that we don't have any respect for our campus when we're paying all this money to go to school," Reese said. "It frightens you in a way cause you don't feel protected. You don't feel as protected."
That's why staying silent is not an option.
"This is going to be my mark and legacy," Johnson said, "what I stood up for…campus safety."
In a letter to The Meter, the student newspaper, TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover outlined the new safety initiatives implemented across campus. It includes hiring nearly two dozen additional police officers and security guards, installing more lighting and cameras around campus and fixing the emergency call boxed.
On Monday, Dr. Glover will address concerns even further at a meeting schooled for 5 p.m. at the Forum.