Early morning on Friday, Oct. 27, Alpha Delta Pi’s and Sigma Chi’s Homecoming board, displayed in Ben Brown Plaza, was vandalized.
Samford Police have not identified the responsible student(s) at this time, but are “still working on it as an active case,” according to Samford Chief of Police Tommy Taylor.
This incident raised questions among Samford students regarding the security coverage of one of the most popular places on campus on any given day: Ben Brown.
Camille Slaughter, a junior in Alpha Delta Pi, is one of the students concerned about campus security.
“What if something scarier were to happen at night and the police had no footage?” Slaughter said.
According to Taylor, Samford has over 400 different cameras in various locations across campus. However, areas such as Ben Brown and Brewer Plaza are at the top of their list of places they would like to add additional camera coverage.
“We have a lot of cameras, but you never have enough, because ideally, you’d like one everywhere,” said Taylor.
Taylor went on to emphasize the importance of students reporting any suspicious behavior they see on campus to prevent incidents such as this from happening.
“Nothing, no camera, is more important than having that community engagement mindset where students – or faculty and staff, for that matter – know to reach out to us right away,” said Taylor.
However, students are still hesitant to report unusual behavior or situations on campus Taylor highlighted some of the consequences of student hesitation that have occurred in the last year at Samford, and how campus police could have helped if they had known the details of the situation sooner. He cited a particular incident that took place in the spring semester of 2023, when a non-Samford student broke into the on-campus podcasting lab and threatened to steal equipment.
“So in that particular case, of course, we responded and [we were] told about it after the fact. Well, by then, nobody’s there. There was really no damage to property… And we’ve made attempts to follow up on that. But the key truly is for y’all to touch base with us any time something like that happens,” said Taylor.
Some students feel that the presence of additional cameras in Ben Brown would ensure coverage in lapses such as these.
“I think this incident makes it clear that security cameras in a place as busy as Ben Brown should be invested in for the safety of students on campus,” said Slaughter.
For students concerned about campus safety after the vandalism incident, Taylor offered reassuring words.
“Public safety is adamantly involved in every facet of campus life,” Taylor said. “And every single incident that’s reported, no matter how little or how big, every single incident that gets reported we respond to in a very timely way. And we take every one of them seriously. The investigation into that particular incident is still ongoing.”
Students should not hesitate to contact Samford Police at (205)-726-2020 if they have any campus safety concerns.