The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Public Safety increases presence in residence halls

A Macalester Public Safety car on campus. Photo by Rory Donaghy ’24.

On Monday, March 18, Residential Life and Public Safety released a joint email announcement to Macalester students, faculty and staff, sharing that personnel from American Security and Investigation (ASI) will join Public Safety officers in patrolling around residence halls. 

This announcement came weeks after Public Safety released two Campus Safety Alerts addressing a reported sexual assault that occurred in Bigelow Residence Hall, with the first alert sent out on Wednesday, Feb. 14 and the second on Friday, March 1. In response, Public Safety increased patrols in and around residence halls. The second alert stated that both incidents involved the same two individuals. 

According to the Campus Safety Alerts, the first incident occurred between 12 and 1 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, and the second incident occurred between 9:45 and 9:52 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29. Public Safety encouraged anyone with information regarding these reported assaults to call them at (651) 696-6555. 

The joint announcement from Residential Life and Public Safety did not specify why ASI has been contacted, other than “to increase security and safety for students,” or for how long ASI personnel will remain on campus. Public Safety Director Robert Harri gave more information about the reasons for this increase in security in an email exchange with The Mac Weekly.

“In light of recent events on campus, the college has opted to conduct additional patrols in and around the residence halls,” Harri wrote. “The Department of Public Safety has limited staff and must be able to conduct normal operations, and American Security offers an additional security presence. The primary purpose is for the safety of our students.”

Harri also shared that leaders in Public Safety and Macalester’s administration held a meeting in which they decided that it would be best to outsource additional security presence from ASI, as Macalester has outsourced security for large scale events and other security needs for more than a decade.

“[ASI’s] familiarity with Macalester’s campus and culture make them the best choice whenever additional staffing is needed for large events or other intermittent needs,” Harri wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly.

The announcement also indicated that American Security staff can be identified by their uniforms, including shirts labeled “American Security” and green fluorescent vests.

Harri declined to comment on any differences in training between ASI staff and Public Safety officers.

Dean of Students Javier Gutierrez emphasized that this additional security presence and the campus alerts are not intended to cause panic.

“Although seeing campus alerts can seem alarming, I also hope that students and others on our campus see the alerts as transparency about what is happening in the community,” Gutierrez wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. “The alerts provide the campus community awareness about reporting things that we should be looking into as well as a reminder to look out for each other, showing care and concern for our community members.”

Individuals concerned about traveling between buildings on campus or any location within a mile of campus can contact Public Safety for an escort. The Laurie Hamre Center for Health and Wellness’ 24-hour helpline can be reached at (651) 696-6275. Sexual misconduct concerns can be reported using Macalester’s Title IX reporting form. 

Title IX Director Laura Creech did not respond to The Mac Weekly’s request to comment.

Advocates from the Saint Paul Intervention Project are available to provide domestic violence support resources to Macalester students every Tuesday, from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., and advocates from Ramsey County SOS are available to provide sexual violence support every Wednesday from 1 – 4 p.m. Both resources are located in Disability Services Workroom Room 039, in the lowest level of the Kagin Commons. Other resources can be found through Title IX’s ‘Find Support’ webpage.


[email protected] 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Cal Martinez
Cal Martinez, News Editor
Cal Martinez '26 (they/them) is one of the news editors and an English major from metro Detroit, Michigan. Their best friend in high school, who happened to be their English teacher, introduced them to journalism and annotating poetry with fancy highlighters, and their sleep schedule has never been the same since.

Comments (0)

All The Mac Weekly Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *