Students question security at Donnelly College - KCTV5

Students question security at Donnelly College

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

A YouTube video circulating around one metro school has students questioning their own safety.

Manuel Hernandez, a student at Donnelly College in Kansas City, KS, shot a video about campus security for a class project. In it, he asked administrators like Vice President of Student Affairs Donette Alonzo whether she believes students are safe.

"Do you think the students are safe at all times when they're located on campus?" Hernandez asked in the YouTube interview. "Wow, that's a big question, do I think students are safe?" Alonzo hesitantly responded.

Students say a rash of car break-ins and disturbances is no secret and the lack of any security staffing makes them nervous.

"I feel that we do need security because I mean, I can't say this is a very dangerous neighborhood, but it's not the best neighborhood to live in," freshman Victor Armstrong told KCTV5.

The Kansas City, KS, Police Department said it's received 19 calls from Donnelly in the past year including car break-ins and disturbances. A spokesman for the police department says that number is too high.

"This is the first institution that I have been at that did not have anybody (designated security staff)," Alonzo told a student in the YouTube video.

KCTV5 left phone and email messages for Alonzo. She did not respond, but Donnelly College did release a written statement, saying:

"The security of our students, faculty and staff has always been of the utmost importance. We are continually evaluating our security programs to make sure adequate and up-to-date measures are being taken. As part of this continual assessment, we have recently been advised by security professionals that our efforts are adequate and appropriate, particularly in the areas of lighting, cameras and the availability of guards."

"Recently, one of Donnelly College's classes had an assignment to present topics of the student's choice in the form of a blog. A few students filmed interviews with fellow classmates, faculty and staff to discuss security on campus. We wholeheartedly support our students' rights to express themselves and appreciate the interest that they are taking in the College."

"Even though we've been advised that we've done well in these areas, any security concerns are too many. We realize that the true measure of security on campus is the comfort level of our students, faculty and staff. Therefore, we are currently engaged in a dialogue with students, faculty and staff to ask what they'd like to see in ongoing and enhanced security measures. The blog contributes to that dialogue and we appreciate input from everyone."

"Donnelly College take the security of our staff, faculty and of course, our students, very seriously. We work diligently, daily, to ensure the safety of everyone on campus."

Alonzo said in the YouTube video she is researching security guard options and the school has a dependable security camera system.

But for students like Armstrong, that is not enough peace of mind.

"I work at the front desk receptionist. I mean, we're the first ones in line just in case we do have to call a problem, we can call the problem and hit security and tell them, ‘ok there's an issue' and that they can come up and help the school," Armstrong said.

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