Last semester, the Montclair State University Police Department began placing two crossing guards outside of CarParc Diem. The crossing guard program, which began in early December, was designed to prevent accidents and promote pedestrian safety.
In the past three months, drivers on campus have gotten accustomed to the crossing guards controlling pedestrian and vehicle traffic. They know what to expect when driving in front of CarParc during peak hours.
According to the University Police Department’s job description for campus crossing guards, the program should “allow for a more fluid flow of traffic.” However, it is not unusual to find traffic backed up along the entire length of Yogi Berra Drive.
Because most of the pedestrians crossing from CarParc are commuters, they are able to see both the positive and negative sides of having crossing guards. Commuters have complained of increased traffic due to the crossing guards.
Dana Woods, a sophomore filmmaking major, thinks that the program causes more problems than it fixes. “I’m being forced to wait for people to cross who are nowhere near the crosswalk,” said Woods.
Other students are extremely grateful for the program. “I feel pretty safe. Though there may be more traffic sometimes, [the crossing guards] do manage it pretty orderly,” said Stanley Wiercinski, a sophomore television production major.
Wiercinski also said that it is a great way to create more jobs and employ more students on campus. “I think it’s a nice thing for the school,” he said.
Most students either love it or hate it, which mainly depends on their schedule. Some are always in a rush going to and from class because of work, and would prefer to be able to get in and out of campus faster than the crossing guards make it possible to.
The positions opened up for students to apply beginning in November, but more crossing guard positions are constantly being filled. There are currently 12 crossing guards for this semester that work various days and shifts, depending on their class schedules.
Charles Griffin, a junior, is currently in his second week as a campus crossing guard. So far, he likes the job most of the time because it is easy and allows him to meet new people.
“Sometimes students have mood swings and don’t want to listen,” said Griffin, as he stopped the cars in order to let a group of students cross the street.
Roneisha Roberts, a junior, has been working as a crossing guard since the program started. She is very enthusiastic about her job, always making sure to say, “you’re welcome” to those that thank her.
“Yeah, a couple of people give me attitude. Some people don’t obey the stop sign and just keep going,” Roberts said.
Both Roberts and Griffin are justice studies majors, and have been friends since their freshman year. Roberts was originally interested in this job for law enforcement experience, and then later on suggested that her friend Griffin apply as well.
“We do not want to create traffic problems due to stopping traffic across campus, but want to provide a safe campus for our pedestrians,” said Captain Kieran Barrett of the Montclair State University Police Department.