Group discusses installation of telephone security system

By Holly Schubert

The Campus Security Advisory Board met last week to discuss several campus security issues, including a campus-wide security phone system.

A referendum in January will enable students to vote on a one-time fee of 27 cents per credit hour in fall 1989 to fund the phone system. Lisa Gunn, newly elected CSAB chairman, said the fee would not exceed $3.24 per student. She said the referendum would provide about $68,000 for the phone system if passed.

Although there are no final figures for the project, Gunn said each phone would cost $700. Gunn said the major cost of the project would be installing underground cable, which she said she hopes won’t exceed $68,000.

The NIU Physical Plant would install the phones and Contel would bury the cable, Gunn said.

The project proposes installing twenty-nine Ramtech security phones made of heavy metal throughout the campus next summer. The phones would be connected to a display board at the University Police station. Gunn said each phone would have a red button that would activate a speaker with a 20-foot range.

She said she does not anticipate a problem with vandalism to the phones. She has studied other universities with similar systems and found they do not have significant problems.

Gunn, who is also the Student Association welfare adviser, said she has been working on acquiring a phone security system for more than a year.

She said the NIU Parking Division recently purchased three Motorola radio-dispatched security phones for a total cost of $17,000. Gunn said she prefers the land-line Ramtech system because it is less expensive and would provide better coverage campus-wide.

In other matters, the board discussed an escort service, working with the sexual assault task force, and the walking tour of the campus students and administrators made about a month ago.

The CSAB, composed of students and university employees, is a university board and will try to meet once a month next semester to “discuss issues as they are presented,” Gunn said.

Gunn said there is one student position open on the board and invites anyone interested in joining the board to contact her at the SA office.