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BCU Strives to Keep Campus Safe

October 3rd, 2018 | by Baily Sitzmann

Campus safety is a top priority for many Midwest schools right now after two Iowa students were found killed. Briar Cliff is taking these threats and disappearances of not only these two individuals but all of them, very serious.

BCU faculty has implemented several new ways to keep all students as safe as they possibly can.Head of security, Marty Pottebaum, of Sioux City, is confident that Briar Cliff is a safe place to be and students have nothing to worry about.

“We are a very safe campus, we are not like other schools in the sense that we have security here 24/7, 365 days a year,” the former police officer said.

Along with having security on campus all day, every day, BCU has also implemented a new service on campus called the Campus Conduct Hotline©.This hotline is designed so students or faculty may call a number completely anonymously to give information relating anything they think is mischievous or could potentially be harmful to someone or themselves.

The number is toll-free and confidential. The way it works is that the caller will be given a five- digit case number incase they would like a follow up on a tip they have called in previously. The caller will also receive a response from the university within five days of the call. However, to receive the response you must call back and enter the case number given to you at the time of the original call.

President Rachelle Karstenssaid, “We got this new program with a new insurance policy that we switched to this year and I think it’s a great idea. Our campus is small enough already that security and staff generally know if someone goes here or not, so it allows us to really monitor what is going on.”

BCU does plenty of things to allow for the campus and its students to be a safe environment as possible. Some of the things that are offered every year are a “Safety and Situational Awareness” event put on by Sergeant Ryan Bertrand, SWAT TeamLeader and Lead Defensive Tactics Instructor for Sioux City Police Department and owner of Bertrand Tactical, self-defense training put on by Mike Bushby, a local Jiu-Jitsu instructor and multiple active shooter sessions based on the SAVE Yourselfmodel and presented by the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department. 

In addition to these classes and events, the school has a close relationship with the Sioux City Police Department. As BCU is a private campus the police department is not allowed to patrol the campus, however, according to Sergeant Dane Wagner, the District Two sergeant for the Upper Middle North area in which BCU is located, they will respond to the school if necessary.

“We are happy to say that we have not had to go to the school hardly at all for any incidences in the past few years that I can remember. If its anything it is that students are just getting a little to rowdy,” said Sergeant Wagner.

BCU remains a small, quiet campus for the most part. When it comes to giving advice about how to stay safe in these tense times after all the major stories in the news lately, President Karstens, Marty, and Sergeant Wagner all have the same advice for all.

“Never go out at night by yourself, go in a group of at least three and let someone know where you are going. And if something does not feel right, report it. The worst that could happen is you are wrong, or you save your life or someone else’s.”

BCU security hours are 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The on -call phone number is (712) 898-1888 should any student or faculty member ever need it. They are located in Heelan Hall in room 030. If you are ever in immediate danger please call 911 right away.

Students are urged to contact Campus Security in light of Iowa killings. - Photo by Baily Sitzmann

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