Texas Southmost College seeks firm to keep students safe

Texas Southmost College seeks firm to keep students safe

By Melissa Montoya The Brownsville Herald

The Texas Southmost College Board of Trustees came close to leaving students on campus without security services after failed attempts to negotiate security with the University of Texas at Brownsville.

According to Chet Lewis, vice president for finance and administration at TSC, because of the close proximity of the college to UTB, the college’s administration wanted to reach an agreement with the university to use the UTB security services.

“During the summer we had some conversations with the UT System and some representatives of UTB and we went through some different prices and scenarios and we kind of went back to the board and kind of ended up hitting an impasse as to the pricing,” Lewis said.

 

A second round of negotiations also failed to deliver results, he added. At this point, TSC administrators were moving toward starting a search for a security firm to provide college security.

 

According to Lewis, because of a call from the Southern Assoc-iation of Colleges and Schools on approximately the first day of classes letting TSC President Lily Tercero know an application needed to be submitted to the SACS Commission on Colleges, the college’s resources were diverted to accomplish the SACS project.

 

“When we finished up the SACS work, we had a conversation and we touched base with UT System to see if we could extend services a little bit longer,” Lewis said.

 

But the two administrations could not achieve an agreement and security services from the university would end on Friday, he added.

 

“This put us in a situation where we needed to make sure we had a secure environment for our students,” Lewis said.

 

A statement by a UT System spokeswoman said security services provided by UTB were set to end Sept. 1, but were extended to Sept. 20 to “allow TSC more time for transition.”

 

“The University of Texas System has policies and rules that govern policing and security on UT campuses. Services were offered to TSC per those standards until TSC could organize its own security service,” Jenny LaCoste-Caputo said. “Those services were not accepted due to cost. UT does not have the option of scaling back security services to save money, as security measures must meet the UT System standard.”

 

Because of the lack of time, Lewis said that TSC could not put in a request for bid proposals from security firms, but the TSC administration contacted some firms.

 

The college chose Brownsville-based security firm American Investigations Security International, one of the only companies that could immediately begin providing security services for the Friday deadline, Lewis said.

 

The recommendation Lewis proposed to the board was to keep AISI for a 30-day contract and renewal while the college submits a proper request for bid proposals, Lewis said.

“This is a situation that kind of emerged after we were not able to come to any agreement with…Continued here: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_a36e2a10-27e8-11e3-9a05-001a4bcf6878.html

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