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On Guard

Security officers play key role in safeguarding BSU community

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They may not be the police, but do play an important role when it comes to keeping safe BSU students living on campus. 

“They” are the Bridgewater State University institutional security officers (ISO) and student security officers (SSO).

“We’re not law enforcement. We are not here to arrest anybody. We are here to enforce the student code of conduct and to help students remain safe,” said Christopher Ferraro, assistant director of residential security. 

These officers man BSU residence halls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some of their duties include checking students’ IDs and bags upon entrance, properly identifying visitors, and addressing other general safety concerns.

“We are a community resource, a friendly face to call,” Mr. Ferraro said.  “Our job is to connect and interact with students, and to keep their halls and homes safe.”

Veronica Roias, ’15, worked as in ISO for two years before recently taking on the role of residential security coordinator. She said the majority of the job involves relationship building. Some of the interactions students have with officers include helping them with class projects, or answering questions from prospective students taking guided tours.

“Our program is really about being preventative. We really work to keep students safe and to enhance their experience,” she said.

Mr. Ferraro stressed the ISO and SSO are not out to “get anybody” their main objective is to keep students safe.

 “We aim to be part of the community and to add to the student residents’ experiences,” he said.

BSU currently has 22 full-time ISOs on staff (they are contracted employees) and nearly 60 SSOs. The ISO program was introduced over 20 years ago with SSO program started shortly thereafter. Both programs were originally overseen by the BSU police department until six years ago, when management of the two programs was transferred to the Residence Life and Housing.

They are always on the lookout for qualified students to apply for the SSO program.

“It’s an entry level job and gives you a chance to be more involved,” Mr. Ferraro said. “You have to be flexible, willing to work, be mature and understand the nature of the work involved. You have to really want to work with the students and realize these are their homes. We want to keep people safe.”

More information is available on the Residence Life and Housing Page.(Story by Heather Harris Michonski, University News)

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United States