MONDAY MAN: Pleasure keeping campus secure
By Lisa King | Mon, May 14, 2012 - 12:00 AM
FOR THE PAST five years Orville Brathwaite has been making students at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, feel safe and secure.
Brathwaite is a security guard at the institution that attracts thousands of students from Barbados, the Caribbean and the wider world.
But he is a security guard with a difference; Brathwaite always goes beyond the call of duty to look out for the students.
He said no two days are the same. “We meet different challenges every day and they vary from day to day. You meet people from different backgrounds but my main job is to assist the students in whatever way I can,” he said.
He explained that with the continuing development of the university, including new buildings going up, there is a greater need for himself to be vigilant and ensure that students are safe.
Given attacks on students close to the campus, Brathwaite said he makes it his duty to advise them to be more careful and not to walk alone when it is late.
With a decade of training he got while serving in the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), Brathwaite said that he is very vigilant when on the job and has an eye for matters that relate to security.
He added that all UWI security officers are put through training before they go on the job. He said the training includes self-defence but what helps is that most of the officers are either ex-policemen or ex-soldiers.
Brathwaite said that what also makes the job easier is the fact that most of the students are very cooperative.
“You may have the odd person who is having a bad day or just have someone who is generally disruptive, but they cooperate,” he said.
“The only challenge is when you have someone who may want you to break the rules to accommodate them.”
However, Brathwaite said that when he is on the job, he is fully focused and ready to assist anyone.
At times he is at a guard post to monitor who enters the campus and sometimes he is on mobile patrol across the campus.
He said that even though the job can have its challenges in all forms and fashions, it is mostly a pleasure.
Brathwaite said the best thing about the job is meeting new people – something he has always liked.
“I get to meet new people every day Some are nice and some are not but I have learnt not to prejudge,” he said. “Some, when . . . you really get to talk to and know them, you see how pleasant they are.”
Brathwaite sees his role as helping students stay calm, comfortable and feel safe while pursuing their degrees.
“Just knowing that you have played a part in the achievement of that degree is a good feeling,” he said.
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