MSUM entered to win $100,000 security grant

By Kristin Miller

millerkr@mnstate.edu

A recent campaign may lead to MSUM receiving a $100,000 grant, which would be used to enhance campus security.

The contest is being hosted by STANLEY Security and utilizes votes cast through their website, Twitter and text message. The two schools that tally up the most votes will be  recipients of the funds. MSUM’s marketing department, Public Safety and Student Senate are working hard to get students to show their support.

“More money always seems to help,”  Shane Kelly, customer service specialist senior at Public Safety, said. He added the grant could be used in a variety of ways including upgrading current security systems, cameras and access to campus buildings.

After hearing about the contest through Jan Mahoney, Vice President for Finance and Administration at MSUM, Public Safety partnered with the Student Senate to mobilize students to cast the necessary votes.

Schools have been broken down into three categories based on enrollment size, with the top vote-getter and runner-up both receiving grants. MSUM is a part of tier one, which includes schools with less than 8,000 students. First place in the category will receive $100,00, and the runner up will be given $25,000.

Now the goal is to get the word out to students.

“Social media has been a huge part of the contest,” said Student Body President Cody Meyer. With entries on Dragon Digest reminding students and faculty to log on or text in to show their support, Meyer said he’s seen plenty of Dragons stepping up to get the school closer to the grant.

While security on campus is solid, Meyer said the money could definitely benefit the university.

“There is always room for improvement, no matter how well we meet the needs of our university,” he said. He also said he is confident in the ability of new Public Safety director Christopher Nelson to see that the funds were used wisely if MSUM wins the competition.

Even with the possible benefits, it’s been an uphill battle to get students voting. As of Saturday, MSUM had not received enough tweets, texts and votes to land in the top ten, but both Meyer and Kelly remain optimistic.

“We could be a dark horse,” Kelly said, adding that he has been voting every day and encourages students to do the same.

Meyer echoed the sentiment.

“Security is everyone’s business, and I would encourage students to get involved and vote,” he said, adding that “it takes no time at all” to engage with the various methods which can be used to vote.

The voting period runs until Feb. 13, which gives students almost two more weeks to get tweeting, texting, and logging on. Above all, both Meyer and Kelly iterated how important it was for students to get involved.

“We just need students to vote,” Kelly said.

More information about the contest and how to cast a vote can be found at stanleysaferschools.com.

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