Safety is top priority for student security guards

Written by: 
Hannah Jones

For student security guards, being a part of the BYU-Hawaii Department of Public Safety means putting up with student frustrations in order to keep students safe.

Edmond Saksak, a freshman from Vanuatu majoring in political science, said his favorite part of being a security guard is making sure everyone is safe and it’s part of his major.

Saksak, with a smile on his face, said, “Everyday before I leave my unit, I always pray to have a good day and to be filled with that love to help others, but sometimes it's very hard and challenging to do this.”

As his smile disappeared, Saksak stated the most frustrating part is when he tries to “correct” students, but they say they saw others or student officers doing the same thing.

“Am I doing my job, or am I not doing my job? I am trying to live the school standards and the other officers [may] not be living [them].”

Like Saksak, Moises Rodriguez, a freshman from Mexico studying biology, said, “My goal is to keep people safe. It’s a priority. There are students from all around the world and it is important the students, regardless of their nationality or language, feel safe and protected.

“What I like about this job is that I patrol and make sure everything is okay. I like to make sure that the people are safe and protected. Sometimes there are students who don’t listen to the rules. That could create problems. If there was an accident, the student would be held accountable.”

For Saksak, the hardest part of the job “is when I see people breaking the rules. I don’t want to cite them. I want them to know that it’s important. I have no choice.”

Saksak, looking discouraged, said, “People would come up to me at the beginning of the semester and say, 'People will hate you.' I remember when I was a clerk back home in my own ward. I was so stressed because I worried. My bishop counseled, 'If someone hates you, it's because you're doing your job.'

Saksak laughed, “People were saying I was crazy because sometimes I have to run after people to stop them. They told me, 'Just leave them, it's too far,' but I have to get the word to them. Ever since this semester has started, I've been running a race. Everyday I run a race. My primary purpose is to promote safety. Nothing else, just safety.

David Birati, a sophomore from Kiribati studying information technology, has been working as a security guard for the last two years and said the job is easy because of staff unity. “Since I have great leaders helping out, I don’t think it's hard. … We are to make sure people on campus are happy, that they get what they want, and that they’re safe. Our first priority is that they’re safe.”


Although Rodriguez has never given a citation, he warned, “If [students] don’t change their attitudes, I will have to give citations.” Even with frustration for students who don’t listen, Rodriguez said the hardest part of his job is “to wake up very early in the morning.”

Rodriguez commented on the benefits of the job. “There are some people who think that working for Security is a serious job, but security is a fun job. You can meet many people and make friends. What matters most is having a good mentality. If you go to work with a good mentality, things will fall into place.”

Saksak said, “This job teaches me a great thing about repentance, the true meaning of repentance. When you do something wrong, the first time you realize it, and you come - like the scriptures say - unto a broken heart and a contrite spirit, Heavenly Father will forgive you. You show Him faith and a willingness to change. It’s the same within the campus. If you don’t come to the office to pay your citation then, we give you another, but if you come and explain your situation they forgive you.”

Date Published: 
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Last Edited: 
Wednesday, January 3, 2018