If a student ever feels unsafe at night walking on the Marist campus, there are students available to help make the other students feel safe. Marist College’s SNAP or Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol, is a program designed to improve the safety of the Marist Community, especially at night. SNAP employees are students who are being utilized by the Security Office to assist in mobility impairments and escorting students who feel unsafe walking on campus at night.
“SNAP helps the community because I’m making students and faculty feel comfortable walking around at night,” said Phil Egloff, a Junior and SNAP employee.
According to the SNAP brochure, published by Marist Security, “(SNAP Employees) are held to the highest of Marist standards and are equipped with radios, flashlights, and safety jackets in addition to specialized training.”
(Left) Phil Egloff with his partner Justin Kirsh, both class of 2020
In order to be hired under SNAP, Junior Sandra Akariza said all she had to fill out the application and go in for an interview if they make it past the initial application process. Then, after being hired, each student goes through a training session. Carly Heintz, a senior, said: “In addition to an intro meeting to explain all the rules, we shadowed experienced SNAPers in all of the campus areas.”
Golf carts are also available for SNAP employees to use, particularly when escorting a student around campus during the day that is injured, therefore it is difficult for the student to walk from class to class. Heintz also stated that when students begin using the carts, there are additional training sessions for it, and if an employee does not feel comfortable driving, they do not have to drive until they feel comfortable doing so.
It has become a common opinion for students to view the SNAP job as easy because there is not much work associated with it because employees are often seen just walking around the campus at night and passing through different buildings. However, the job is more than that and can become serious at times if a situation arises.
Akariza emphasizes that apart of the information session, each SNAP employee made well informed on the purpose of SNAP and how it will benefit the Marist community. The increase of a presence on campus will make students feel safer and that there are more options to go to rather than security. Hopefully, this can lead to a friendlier environment where more students know students and are comfortable going to one another and walking on campus at night.
While one of the main functions of SNAP is to escort students on campus, it is a rarity to see a SNAP employee walking with someone. Akariza mentions the importance of staying visible to students, however, the number of people want escorts to differ a lot and varies month to month. “(Number of escorts) add up between shifts. Numbers rose during the clown scare”, reported Heintz.
Marist Office of Safety and Security
There could be an unnerving feeling that students are hired to take care of other students. However, all SNAP employees work in pairs, so there is never just one person, and the Office of Safety and Security are there as well, if assistance is ever needed beyond the SNAP employees, or if there are questions about what to do in a situation.
Safety and Security emphasis that SNAP is not there to enforce policies by the school, rather act as increased eyes and ears on the grounds. They are able to report dangerous situations or potential situations to the Office of Safety and Security, in order to maintain a connection between the student body and the office. Student SNAP escorts are available beginning Sunday night through Friday morning. However, when the student escorts are not available due to the time of the day security officers will take the place of SNAP employees in escorting students.