Most of you probably do not know the name George Drumheller, despite his importance in the day-to-day workings of Eastern Mennonite University.
He has been the head of the security staff at EMU for a year and four months now.
EMU outsources their security to Admiral Security. George is the Site Supervisor assigned by Admiral Security to take care of EMU; he has four other guards under him.
George came out of retirement from 32 years of police and military service to work at EMU.
Although security guards may stereotypically seem formidable at first glance, I found quite the opposite to be the case last semester when I first ran into George.
My friends and I were playing soccer in the gym although it was officially closed at the time.
Rather than kicking us out when he found us, George decided to push back locking everything up so we could play.
George told me that his “staff are basically here to serve the University.”
The duties of EMU’s security crew are diverse. Their tasks include checking buildings, lights, the emergency phones, locking and unlocking doors, escorting students, and taking care of emergencies.
George reported that “mainly we are here for emergencies, but we do bend to try to help with other things. That’s what I want my guys to do. They are instructed to, any time they can do it, help a student, because I feel like it’s part of our job. That’s not part of our security work, but it makes it so nice to work with the students.”
Having previously worked for James Madison University’s security, George commented on the differences between EMU and JMU, saying that “there’s really not a lot of comparison; this is a better atmosphere here on the EMU campus. I’d much rather have my child come here than I would go to JMU. Let’s put it that way. It’s a good school here, there’s no doubt about it.”
When asked about drug or alcohol abuse, George stated, “I would say comparing it to JMU and the University of Virginia where I worked,there is no comparison. Otherwise, we have nothing, there’s nothing here compared to there. It’s really good, we have a good bunch of young people here.”
George seemed very pleased with the security on campus. “We don’t have very many problems with students. The biggest problem we would have [would be] someone from outside coming in and creating a problem. We’ve had bike thefts, an outsider stole a computer from one of the labs, but we got it back. There’s very little crime here on campus. When we do have it, it usually turns out to be somebody not on campus.” He closed our interview on a particularly reassuring note saying that, “at night when you guys are sleeping, we’re out there looking after the place. That’s what it’s all about, your safety. This is probably the safest campus, I would say, in Virginia that I know of. I’ve worked the others, so I know.”