By Jewell Porter
Soon after Dan Hect was chosen to serve as the new Director of Campus Safety, rumors about what he planned to do to revamp this department began to spread. The Denisonian recently sat down with Hect to address these rumors and to clarify what his actual goals are for the safety department.
One of the rumors spreading around campus are that Hect plans to have security guards armed at all times, but he said that this is not his decision to make. He said, “The decision to arm a campus law enforcement agency is a difficult decision, and it’s not in my authority to make. That would come from the president’s office, the board of trustees, or the student body.”
Second, many students believe that Hect plans to change the current marijuana policy at Denison, which requires security guards who find students smoking marijuana or in possession of marijuana to write up the student and to confiscate the illegal items. It is believed that all students caught with small amounts of marijuana to receive a misdemeanor.
Although this fabrication is false and almost all of the procedures will remain the same under Hect, he did change the way Denison disposed of marijuana. While security guards previously flushed it down the toilet, they are now required to follow a different protocol that is in accordance with the law.
Currently, when confiscated marijuana comes into the Campus Safety department, Hect is immediately called to come to his office to call the police and have them destroy it.
Rather than planning to make tremendous changes to the organizational structure of the safety department, he wants to change the way students view campus safety. Rather than viewing campus safety as a mini police department, Hect hopes that they become known more for the community outreach that they do.
He hopes that the safety department would instead be viewed as the group on campus that helps the community, though he realizes that this is not a one-way-street. He said, “this needs to be something that is a goal for both the student body and through safety.”
In order to accomplish this goal, Hect has been attending the regular weekly meetings with several different campus organizations, and even organized his own radio show for the Doobie, which he named “What Matters to You.”
In his radio show, which is aired every Friday from 3:30-5:30 pm, he spends one hour talking to students about what matters to them. In the second hour, he hosts a karate radio show.