President Wilson Stresses Safety and Security at Town Hall Meeting

The MSU Spokesman

IMG_1678Morgan State University President David Wilson addressed the student body last night in a Town Hall meeting in the University Student Center.

He gave an update on campus construction, detailed changes in security efforts, described new “student success” initiatives and fielded a few barbed questions about dorm visitation rules and allegations that he used student scholarship money for travel.

Wilson told students that the new business school will open next year and that long-range plans, in partnership with the community, included a revamped Northwood Plaza.

He also emphasized safety.

“Campus security is our top priority,” said Wilson. In addition to a building a new fence around the campus, he is inviting students to attend his “coffee with cops” gatherings. He has added new security cameras around campus and is expanding the hours for campus police.

Wilson said he will be bringing police dogs into the dorms and the dining halls twice a semester on unannounced searches for drugs. He also urged students to do their part. “If you see something suspicious you need to report it,” he said, reminding students to take basic precautions. “If it is 1:30 in the morning, you should be in bed.”

Dorm visitation rules seemed to be a hot button issue for students at the meeting. For years, students have been following what some consider overly strict policies and regulations. On any given weekday, visitation ends at 10:30 p.m. while on weekends the time changes to 12:00 a.m. One student complained that predominantly white institutions like Towson have no visitation policies in place. Wilson responded by referring the question to the Office of Judicial Affairs and Inter-Resident Council saying it was a matter that had to be taken up with them.

Wilson also faced questions over a critical HBCU Digest article, in which he was accused of misusing over $218,000 in school funds for personal travel. Wilson briefly defended himself saying, “I have never taken from the university. I have always believed in giving to the university.” He refused to say anything further on the issue when pressed again.

Photos by Camille Harrison and Zanha Armstrong