New police, housing directors take part in meet and greet

Reginald Johnson II

Newly appointed Chief of Police Patrick Coggins and Director of Residence Life and Housing Kristi Schulte were the focal points of the meet and greet on March 9 in Comanche Suites.

“It’s been a busy month, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at protocol and process in the department,” Coggins said.

Schulte was enthusiastic when describing her transition.

“I have a great team that I’m working with and we’re really excited to start looking the things like the new (dorm) building and the programs and services that we’re offering at residence life,” Schulte said.

Coggins said most of the estimated 30 people who attended the meet and greet were not students.

“I’ve met a number of people at the director level across the university, other departments that we’ll (police department) be working with,” Coggins said.

While both have spent time looking at their respective policies, neither expect any drastic changes in the near future.

Coggins said there wouldn’t be any immediately apparent changes.

“In my opinion, it’s always good for somebody from outside the organization to come in because it gives you a fresh perspective… undoubtedly there will be some changes that need to be made… but overall things are working pretty well,” Coggins said.

Schulte emphasized taking time to review before going in a certain direction.

“Its important for me in the first couple of months to take a step back and do more listening than anything else,” Schulte said.

Rather than implementing any immediate changes, Schulte spoke on her long-term goals for the residence life department.

“I see some great opportunities with the new building coming online to work on evolving our program model,” Schulte said. “Long-term goals revolve around getting faculty more involved in that building and really doing a comprehensive review of the department to make sure that we’re serving students in the best way possible,” Schulte said.

Coggins talked about his medium term goals for the police department after analyzing their current situation.

“In terms of medium-term goals, we want to get some of the infrastructure for the police department more formalized, for instance the policy manual which the former chief did a good job of putting into place,” Coggins said.

Coggins also expressed the desire to improve the police department’s resources and increase its staff size in the future.

“We’re operating out of a very old building and it’s not suiting our needs anymore. I’d like to move in a direction where we increase our staffing to get more in line with some of the averages of police officer to student ratio that other universities have across the nation,”

One of the hot topics affecting college campuses in Texas is the new concealed handgun policy. State Congress recently passed a bill which permits students who have obtained a concealed handgun license to carry a weapon on campus. The law goes into effect on August 1.

“Campus carry will become a law on August 1 of this year,” Coggins said. “Midwestern State, being a public institution of higher education, will have to allow to some extent campus carry… The university has the ability to formulate a rule that governs campus carry.”

Coggins said he has recently spoke to the university campus carry task force, is close to presenting a draft policy to the university president. Schulte also had high praise for Fidelie and other committee members when giving her thoughts on the new policy that she is still educating herself about.

“I’m new to the state of Texas and I recognize that gun culture is very different here than other places I’ve lived prior to coming here,” Schulte said. “I really appreciate that the university has gone out of their way to put a committee together to really research the issue and look at alternatives and options.”

Schulte, originally from Missouri University of Science and Technology, said she is excited about the new residence hall building, which is expected to open in August.

“We’ve been reassured that the building is close to being on schedule,” Schulte said. “I love the way the building has been designed with an emphasis on both the floor community and with the greater campus community in mind.”

Schulte and Coggins both started their new positions Feb. 1. Coggins is also an MSU alumni who said he is looking forward to being back on the campus.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Schulte’s first name as Kristie instead of Kristi.