The story starts with the hiring of a new Director of Public Safety at Lane Community College, and I am assigned to cover the story. There are three candidates for consideration, but I’m unable to attend the forums due to work obligations. This doesn’t deter me from obtaining some information about the candidates. Considering that this an important position the school is hiring for, any information such as qualifications, and goals relating to safety at the campus, would be beneficial information for the student body.
I ask a contact at the college for the email addresses of each candidate so that I can send them pre-written questions. I receive a kind and formal email back stating that “I am not authorized to provide the information you’ve requested.” My contact forwards my request to Dennis Carr, Chief Human Resource Officer at LCC. I receive a response stating, “All information about candidates who are invited to interview for positions with Lane Community College must be gathered within the context of the scheduled candidate assessment processes such as open forums with candidates who have been invited to interview.”
It was at this point I knew that I had struck out. Instead, my next goal was to gather some information not about the candidates themselves, but more about the hiring process. Questions such as “What qualifies a candidate?” or “What type of experience would you look for?” I made my way to down to Public Safety in Building 12 to see if I could get in contact with someone, hopefully the head of the department. I left my name, phone number and email, and brief summary for my visit with the receptionist. One day passed, then another. I went back to follow up, only to repeat the steps mentioned before.
“Every time I’ve tried getting something done with Public Safety, it seems I’m never talking to the person that has the answers.”Ryan Miller, LCC student
Three days had passed, and it became clear to me that I was not going to get a response from Public Safety. I pondered how a department at school could be so ineffective in replying back to students. I was talking amongst some friends who have also had quarrels with the department about response time. It seemed as if this was the standard whenever one was working with the department.
I talked to a close friend and current student Ryan Miller and he said, regarding the department: “Every time I’ve tried getting something done with Public Safety, it seems I’m never talking to the person that has the answers. On top of that, to get in touch with the person with the answers will take a few days at a minimum.”
Ryan is just one of four peers I know personally who have complained. It was comforting in some odd way to know that my experience was shared
These might just be the writings of someone who is jaded, and a little defeated, but it seems that this a repeated pattern when it comes communicating with Public Safety. I find it concerning that we as students have a certain running joke about “being in the dark” when it comes to trying to get a response back. The only way I could describe the experience is that it is like playing catch with a brick wall. Hopefully, we can change that soon.