Quincy University beefing up security as students return - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy University beefing up security as students return to campus

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Quincy University is expected to welcome 281 freshman students to campus this weekend, the highest incoming class since 1996.

With all those new students, the university is taking new steps to make the campus a safer place.

After a student was hit by a car near the campus at 18th and Chestnut in January, flashing pedestrian signs were installed to make the crosswalk more visible. School officials say they're also implementing other safety features on campus to beef up security.

Zach Hesterberg is among hundreds of freshman who moved into their dorms Friday at Quincy University.

"We got all my stuff in and then when that was in and right when we got done then he came in and so that was he was able to go in with no problems," Hesterberg said.

While new students like Hesterberg are transitioning to dorm life, university officials are trying to make sure the campus is safer this year.

Francis Hall is a major hub for classrooms and offices. QU Director of Safety and Security Sam Lathrop says they are trying make it more secure by restricting access. 

"You can't get into Francis Hall later this semester unless you have a prox card to get in so it's slowly starting to tighten up some of the security aspects of our campus," Lathrop said.

Also, instead of a key, some of the renovated dorm halls have an ID system now.

"Your ID will act as a key into the buildings and that helps. We're adding cameras so we've added that technology to make us a little safer," Lathrop said.

Lathrop says they've also participated in emergency response drills this summer with the Quincy Police and Fire Department to learn how to react if the worst happens...from a dorm fire to a campus shooting.

"We want to be prepared for it. The odds are against it, but when you're prepared but it makes you in a better position to respond," Lathrop said.

And for new students like Amy Quhle she's says it's a relief to not have to worry so much about her safety.

"It's good to know that we're a little bit safer. It can't hurt ya know?" Quhle said.

Freshmen are getting to know the campus layout with several welcome weekend activities and orientations. The rest of the QU students move in Sunday and classes start on Monday.

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