Student Safety with Gina Gonzalez

Throughout the semester, many students have become swamped with the academic aspect of their transition into college. However, there are just as many communal opportunities as there are academic, as stressed in orientation. The transition from high school to college can be a major one, and the staff within Student Success here at TAMIU are here to make the transition as smooth and easy as possible. Gina Villarreal Gonzalez, assistant to the Vice President of Student Success, emphasized the many payoffs and benefits students can reap from becoming involved on and off campus. “Our job is making sure that any services that the student would need in order to be successful in getting their 4-year degree are openly available to them, and services are provided in a timely fashion as we’re meeting the students’ needs on the more extracurricular side of things,” said Gonzalez.   Gonzalez, with over 20 years of experience, goes on to highlight the many options that students have access to, such as the recreational center, or even many of the upcoming athletic and awareness events. With the variety of resources that the average student could take advantage of, Gonzalez stresses the importance of communal involvement.   “Some people are here to come to class and leave, which is great; we want you to finish your degree and get your 4 years and get a job. But when you try to get that job, employers want to see that well-rounded individual. You can have a 4.0, but they’ll ask for that experience, the leadership, how were you involved, were you in any type of organizations, what position did you hold in any of these organizations,” said Gonzalez.   Amongst the communal involvement, Gonzalez also went into the importance of student safety along with immersion.  A prime example would be the condom dispenser within the recreational center, located outside the two locker rooms. Through a collaboration with Serving Children and Adults in Need (SCAN), the condom dispenser was placed in order to promote student safety and prevention.   There have been talks of including brochures or literature to better promote safety and prevention awareness, along with the many seminars and events that are advertised throughout the campus. Throughout campus, you’ve probably noticed many stickers placed within offices called “Safe Zones”   These Safe Zones are meant to promote the presence of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) community here at TAMIU. Gonzalez went on to voice that the purpose of these Safe Zones serve to make any and all students attending feel more secure and at ease amongst their fellow student populace.   Another topic of concern that Gonzalez elaborated upon was campus carry. Beginning on August 1, 2016, campus carry was legally allowed in correlation to state law. According to Gonzalez, there have been no raised concerns or objections against campus carry so far.   Despite the lack of protest, regulations are still placed upon any student who wishes to practice their campus carry right. Firearms must be concealed no matter where they are and one must obtain a license in order to carry one, and any suspicions can be addressed to the TAMIU Police Department.   PD will investigate and ask for proper identification. Should the carrier be unable to provide identification, they will be apprehended and proper legal ramifications will be carried out.   Gonzalez went on to voice student concerns, in relation to student parking. There are new options available in terms of parking in the form of the new parking lot behind the recreational center. The reserved parking spots that are signaled as such can be utilized on the days and times which the reservations are not specified. Those times are after 6 P.M., during the work week and all day on weekends.   With the many options open to students elaborated upon, Gonzalez went on to voice the fact that should any student have any problems or concerns that they would like attention brought to, there are many resources and staff that they can take advantage of or take concerns to so as to be addressed properly and met as best as possible.
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