Safe at My College Home

Ashlyn Nichols Experience, Student Life

There is no better feeling than driving onto the University of Mobile campus at the end of a long day, where I am greeted by the smile of a security guard as I turn in at the gated entrance onto Pollock-Altmayer Drive.

Niche has ranked UM as the #1 or #2 safest campus in Alabama over the past few years, and I have certainly found my own niche here. I am always at ease on every corner of campus, and I am confident that I will receive immediate assistance if I need it. Knowing that I am safe away from home is the best feeling. Because of the excellent security team, faculty, and staff, every day at the University of Mobile feels like that.

A security guard sits at the entrance to campus 24/7. They wave students with parking tags through, and they stop unknown visitors to document their license plate numbers. With only one entrance onto campus, anyone who steps foot on campus must have authorization.

Over the past three years, I have built relationships with the security team. They go above and beyond to ensure my safety, and every action they take is geared toward protecting my UM family.

One time, I lost my keys, and a security officer helped me look for them until I found them. Another time, my car’s battery died, and an officer did not hesitate to jumpstart my car. My favorite memory of all is when an officer helped me surprise my boyfriend for his birthday. Last June, I was at home in Missouri due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I hadn’t seen my boyfriend in months, so I flew to Mobile to surprise him. The security officer stopped my boyfriend at the guard shack and told him that the chief officer needed to speak to him… much to his surprise, that “chief officer” was me. I look back on that memory with laughter and fondness.

Not only that, but UM’s faculty and staff ensure the safety of students’ health in light of COVID-19. Masks are required in all buildings, and tables and chairs are taped off in order to maintain social distancing. The cafeteria staff wear masks and gloves while preparing our cuisine. To-go boxes are available in the cafeteria for those who are uncomfortable eating in public, and sanitizing stations are available in several locations.

One of my favorite resources for health safety is the UM Campus Wellness Center. Services are provided by an RN, and students have access to free, basic healthcare treatment. Temperature and blood pressure can be taken, and students never have to leave the comfort of campus.

It has been an abnormal season, but UM has adapted to make my experience safe and enjoyable. A global pandemic has not stopped UM’s devotion to help students achieve their dreams. I am truly grateful for UM’s desire to maintain a safe atmosphere where students can eat, sleep, study, and live life to the fullest.

About the Author

Ashlyn Nichols

Ashlyn Nichols is a senior at the University of Mobile majoring in communications and minoring in French. She is an intern with UM’s Office of Marketing and Public Relations, and she works as the communications coordinator at Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama. She was the 2018 Distinguished Young Woman in Missouri and competed in the national finals in Mobile, where she first visited the University of Mobile. Ashlyn is a UM Ambassador and on the UM tennis team. She enjoys hiking the trails on campus, playing the violin, and spending time at the beach.