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Margo Slade: Students Keeping Students Safe

[ photo: Margo Slade ]

Students Keeping Students Safe

You might think that handing a college student a security radio, a flashlight the size of a baton, a little box that makes loud noises, and sending him/her out to roam the campus aimlessly in the wee hours of the morning on a Saturday would be a very bad idea. However, Vassar's Campus Patrol has proved the contrary.

Started in 1973, completely student-run by 1978, Campus Patrol is a complement to Vassar Security, employing students to walk the campus, keeping a watchful eye on places and events where a Security "presence" would be intrusive . During its patrol times, the group offers the Vassar community a variety of services: escorts by request, locking of buildings, removal of non-students, and a general safety watch.

Credit for the original idea goes to Mrs. Margo Slade, assistant director of financial aid at the time, who saw the need for more "guy" jobs when Vassar went coed. Oddly enough, Mrs. Slade was dead-set against offering patrol jobs to Vassar women. That is, until Esther Goldberg '75 walked into her office and demanded that Campus Patrol go coed. As Goldberg stated: "It seemed quite unfair to me that here at what was a historically women's college, women shouldn't be allowed to defend themselves. It was very empowering to cut through that prejudice."

VQ Summer 1994