The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

Students’ Thoughts on N.C. A&T Being an Open Campus

Teren McNeill

N.C. A&T is an institution that has a growing student population of almost 14,000 students. Campus safety is a critical component of college life for students everywhere, but especially on public campuses.

The university is located a few minutes away from downtown Greensboro, which is a hotspot for restaurants, concerts and nightlife. Popular events like GHOE (Greatest Homecoming On Earth) and Aggie Fest put N.C. A&T on the map for its campus life and student culture. 

The popularity of it being one of the largest public HBCUs attracts campus visitors from near and far that interact with the student population. Unfortunately, this can cause havoc and disruption. 

On Feb. 21, members of a right-wing organization visited the HBCU on a quest to get students’ opinions on social justice issues. 

A table with a banner stating, “America is not racist, change my mind” invited students to debate whether or not racism is still in existence. This drew a large audience of Aggies with the intent to prove them wrong. 

Although the situation began as something small it eventually led to hostility between students and the visitors. N.C A&T police department eventually defused the situation and escorted the men off campus.

While the event did not cause harm, events like this spark up the conversation of the safety of students living in an open establishment. Freshman animal science student, Jillian Lilly, detests the idea of anyone being able to access N.C. A&T’s campus. 

“The main thing I do not like is when we have people coming onto campus who are trying to get a reaction out of black students,” Lilly stated.

Lilly believes that an open campus often results in locals causing issues amongst students. 

“Not only does this cause a ruckus, but it also makes black kids here feel unsafe,” Lilly explained.

With February marking Black History Month, a month-long celebration of the history, culture and contribution of Black Americans. Students like Victori Parriman, sophomore nursing student, believe that being a Black institution during this time opens the door for hate.

“Black campuses in the past year have been targeted with bomb threats…why are we an open campus when we know there is hate for us both on and outside of our campus territory?” Parriman said. 

Students want something to be done by administration to monitor who is allowed to step foot on campus. 

“I think we should work on being able to mediate who comes here,” said Troy Sheppard, junior psychology student. “It makes us really unsafe and susceptible to moments like this,” Sheppard said.

Located in Ward Hall, N.C. A&T Police Department reassures that students always have resources available to ensure their safety.

The most prominent resource being police emergency telephone boxes that are spread throughout campus with a big blue light at the top and a bright red emergency help button. The purpose of this device is to give students the ability to quickly notify the authorities if they are in danger. 

All registered students are also required to sign up for “AggieAlert,” an emergency notification system that keeps students informed about emergencies through text and email. 

To report an on campus emergency, call the university police at (336) 334-7675

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