Handy campus safety tool is all the rave
We’ve just spent the last two years huddling indoors behind masks, illuminated only by the soft glow of computer screens and handheld devices – and we’re finally free. Free to throw off the masks and run free, free as the wind blows, free as the grass grows. The last thing on our mind right now is safety. For Pete Kandartieff and the officers and staff in the College Safety department our safety is their job. The Clackamas Print sat down with Kandartieff to talk about College Safety and what we need to know.
The Clackamas Print: How long have you been in college safety?
Pete Kandartieff: 20 years, about 20 years now, I think.
TCP: And was that at Clackamas the whole time?
Kandartieff: Yeah. I’m also an alumni.
TCP: What changes have you seen?
Kandartieff: Oh, you know, several building projects, right? So they’ve expanded square footage. So, you know, city growing around us too.
TCP: Has the student population stayed pretty much the same over the years?
Kandartieff: Well it was growing, you know, until COVID, it was always growing it seemed like, especially with our programs and buildings, expanding and improving space for academic purposes. The college evolved academically to meet the student needs. It’s been really exciting to watch.
TCP: And your favorite part of the job?
Kandartieff: To help students and staff you know, make them feel like they’re in an environment that’s safe to conduct business and go to school. It’s always fun to meet new people, you get a lot of the same faces for sure, but get to know some of the students while they’re here and watch them progress in life.
TCP: Tell me about the Rave Guardian App.
Kandartieff: That’s our emergency notification app. We use it primarily, recently, for any news that is timely – warning related. For example a weather related closure – those types of things. Any emergency notifications that need to be broadcast to students and staff.
TCP: So one of the things it does is send messages to students and staff in emergency situations. What if someone has an emergency situation on campus, can the Rave Guardian App help them contact security?
Kandartieff: Their app does have a feature that users can enable that allows them to automatically connect with College Safety’s Central Dispatch service, of course our jurisdiction is only on campus.
TCP: What kind of programs, or outreach, do you have to inform students about the Rave Guardian app, the emergency safety guide and other useful information out to new students?
Kandartieff: Well, we have a website, that’s our most popular way that we communicate our services. People can find information about the app, our Rave Alert program. Students and staff are automatically opted into that. Once you’re no longer related to the college your information is removed. That’s handled through colleagues in our IT department. There are some glitches, of course, it’s not not perfect, right. Some people may no longer be at the college and still get the alerts but if they contact us, we just just remove them – very simple process.
TCP: Besides the College Safety website, how else do new students find out about downloading the Rave Guardian app to their phones or find other useful information?
Kandartieff: The Student Activities Office has outreach programs to engage new students at the start of each term – they have information on our programs and it appears in the Student Handbook. And, we, of course, talk to students. We’re out and about on campus and if students have any questions we are always there to engage and make sure that they have information they need. You know, it’s like a lot of things, right? People sometimes come to campus, in class, they focus on that, and then they expect us to do our job to provide a safe environment. They don’t necessarily partake in all the necessary technical things available, they don’t necessarily come into our office and want information about safety and security. Some people do. Get the connections.
TCP: How often would you say the system gets used?
Kandartieff: The Rave system? Well, if we have power issues, things related to utilities or weather related issues then we send notifications through the app. We also have notifications that are, occasionally, emergency related. Whether they’re on campus or things that could be happening across the street – we would send notices for that too. We work with our local law enforcement partners as closely as we can to keep students and staff informed about safety concerns.
TCP: Do you hire students?
Kandartieff: Well, we hire work studies when we’re actively open – which we haven’t been due to Covid. In the past they’d be available to help evacuate buildings and in emergencies – we train them, give them some skills on how to evacuate a building. They can provide walkout service for students, if someone needs to walk out service to their car, but usually it’s College Safety officers that do that – any drive by, or for us to make a presence in the parking lot while a person walks out – we’re always available for that type of service.
TCP: As far as general safety for students, is there any advice you would give a student going to school here?
Kandartieff: Visit our website, know where we’re located and have our phone number available. Because we rely on people to report suspicious things that happen on campus, and we want them to take necessary precautions – not to leave valuables in their car, not to leave things unattended on campus. We are an Open Campus – we have a transit center.
TCP: Does that cause problems, having the transit center on campus?
Kandartieff: Not necessarily, you know, we’ve had a transit center on our campus for decades, and it’s worked out well. We have some good local partners that work together on maintaining security and safety. So we respond to calls, oftentimes were the first scene to the transit center and many of the bus drivers know us, we communicate with their dispatch and their dispatch communicates with ours so, you know, we get the job done. For the most part it’s a safe transit center, we welcome it on our property. We also have a high school nearby and high schoolers use it, it provides a good opportunity for the college.