Cedarville students regularly encounter campus safety members during the course of an average day. From replacing ID cards to unlocking a dorm lounge, the responsibilities of Cedarville campus safety are considerably varied. However, much of the work done by these officers is behind the scenes. Who are they, what do they do, and why do they do it? This article describes just a few of the several individuals of this department to provide some insight into those who serve Cedarville University.
Lt. James Bowersox
Students may easily recognize Lieutenant James Bowersox, one of several Campus Safety officers. Though students may see him around the school performing various tasks, Bowersox has quite a few responsibilities, including overseeing safety equipment, smoke detectors and fire extringuishers.
“I’m responsible for upkeep on patrol cars. I’m the person when somebody needs a new piece of equipment or a uniform; they come talk to me,” Bowersox said.
A 30-year veteran of Cedarville Campus Safety, Bowersox works internally in the organization by serving his fellow officers and helping students.
“I do door unlocks, vehicle unlocks, jumpstarts – the more ‘campus officer’ things,” he said.
Bowersox said he had been in law enforcement for quite some time prior to Cedarville. After serving with the Air Force military police for four years, Bowersox learned of the opening at Cedarville from his father, which was the beginning of a multi-generational involvement at Cedarville.
“My father and mother both worked here. My parents were students back in the 60s,” Bowersox said.
Although he was not a Cedarville student, he mentioned that his wife is an alumna and that all three of his children are Cedarville graduates as well.
“It was just an opening. I knew it would be a good work environment since it was a Christian college,” he said, explaining his choice to come to Cedarville.
Though his children have grown up and left home, Bowersox shared a few of the hobbies that keep him busy outside of work. He said he is a NASCAR fan and enjoys riding his motorcycle. He also collects diecast cars, collectible vehicle models cast out of a mold, which he said his grandchildren enjoy.
“I have a small train set I like to run around and play with,” Bowersox said. “I’ve got quite a collection accumulated.”
Bowersox said he enjoys his job and likes interacting with the students, as he is involved on both the positive and negative sides of campus safety.
“I’m the dark knight when I have to give a ticket. I’m the knight in shining armor the night they need assistance,” he said.
Though the negative side isn’t always enjoyable, Bowersox said that it is a necessary part of Campus Safety, and it also provides a service for students.
“It’s a way of showing the students what real life is gonna be like,” he said. “When they get out, there will be responsibilities and rules they need to follow. It’s necessary to keep peace on campus.”
Whether he’s writing a parking ticket or jump-starting a student’s dead vehicle, Bowersox doesn’t see himself going anywhere else.
“I like my job. I’m either going to be buried here or be carried off of here,” he said. “I’m not sure what I would want to do besides here.”
Sgt. Bill Randolph
Sgt. Bill Randolph works full time as a night officer for campus safety. He is also the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Yellow Springs and runs several radio stations.
“I do get tired sometimes,” Randolph said.
Though Randolph supervises the night shift, he frequently interacts with students.
“It may vary from something minor – a parking ticket – to something major, like an accident. ‘Hey, my car won’t start. Hey, I locked my keys in the car,’” Randolph said.
In addition to being an officer, Randolph said he enjoys time with his family. He lives with his wife, Florence, and youngest son, William, a Cedarville graduate. His four other children are spread out across Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Randolph said ministry also serves as one of the biggest parts of his life.
“It’s a calling. Nothing else. It’s a call by God,” he said.
Randolph said he was certain he was called into ministry in 1982.
“I went and shared it with my mother. She said, ‘I know it. I knew it when I was carrying you,’” Randolph said. “She had this big box filled with material on preaching and on pastoring that she had been saving. She said, ‘I kept it for you, but I wasn’t going to give it to you until you announced your calling.’”
Shortly afterward, Randolph began pastoring at First Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, where he remained for 30 years. He then moved to his current position in Yellow Springs.
Randolph also serves as the chaplain for the Central State men’s basketball team.
“I help them deal with life issues,” he said.
Randolph also ministers through radio, seeking to reach a different crowd than the church he speaks to on Sundays.
“I own a hip-hop station, I have a radio show in Columbus,” Randolph said.
With such a varied resume, Randolph said he feels the weight of it occasionally.
“I’ve got a lot of different things on my plate. And man, I don’t complain about it one bit.”
Randolph said he hopes to write a book and stay in the ministry.
“On my bucket list one day is to go full-time in ministry,” he said. “This is what I was called to do.”
Campus safety’s director Doug Chisholm has served Cedarville nearly a quarter of a century.
But this isn’t Chisholm’s first round of public safety; he formerly worked in the public safety department at a hospital in Rochester, New York.
“After working 15 years there, I started to think, ‘It would be really great to work at a Christian college or university and do the same thing I’m doing here,’” he said.
Chisholm moved to Cedarville with his wife in 1991.
“I felt it would be great. As a Christian school, my ideology was much more compatible than a purely secular environment,” he said.
As the director of campus safety, Chisholm has many behind-the-scenes responsibilities, so a typical student may not encounter him frequently.
“What I do is emergency preparedness, security and law enforcement, risk management, occupational safety and health,” Chisholm said.
But despite his business involvement, Chisholm still finds opportunities to interact with students.
When students come in to work on various projects or proposals, particularly with big events such as Elliv, Chisholm explained that he meets with students to discuss safety and fire code issues.
“I thought it would be exciting. That was one of the aspects I said to myself that would be really neat: the students,” said Chisholm, explaining his decision to come to Cedarville.
Chisholm, who has now been involved with public safety for nearly 40 years, also is a part of the village council.
“I thought that it would be good to be involved for community issues. In my position, it’s good to be on the council for the Cedarville village and university as far as relations go.”
Chisholm has a number of additional responsibilities: serving as the president pro tempore of the council, chairman of the public relations committee and a member of the finance committee.
He is involved with community events such as CedarFest and formerly helped students work on projects in the community.
“That keeps me pretty active,” he said.
With the spare time he still has, Chisholm said he enjoys going to the gun range. He continues to work in other areas, such as public speaking regarding active shooter preparedness and violence in the workplace.
“Some day I would kind of branch off and do some of that. For the time being I enjoy doing what I’m doing.”
Marilyn Ware is a worker students more frequently encounter over email – unless they need a new ID, a passport photo, a van license or a few other services provided by campus safety.
“My dad kind of steered me towards secretarial work,” Ware said. “I’ve done it all my life. I enjoy it.”
Ware, a Cedarville resident since 1978, is the office manager for campus safety. Though Ware has worked at Cedarville for some time, her family remains her passion.
“I wasn’t real career minded when I was in high school,” she said. “I wanted to have a family and raise my kids. That was my main love.”
After her children grew up and married, Ware began working at Cedarville. She said three of her children are spread across the United States, and one of her daughters is a missionary in Thailand with her husband.
“We have had the privilege of traveling to Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. We’ve traveled the world. It’s amazing,” Ware said.
Besides her traveling, Ware has been involved with Cedarville students and the community through the village council.
“We work with students a lot that volunteer to do things in the village,” she said. “I love the students at Cedarville University. They’re great. Any time you say you’re from Cedarville, people will tell you they are always impressed.”
In addition to her daily work with students, Ware has served as a main communicator to the student body through campus emails.
“I liked to send out little poems in order to break up people’s day, to give them a little fun thing to look at,” she said.
Ware’s husband also works at Cedarville on the grounds staff. She said they plan to stay at Cedarville for the foreseeable future.
“This is our home. We love Cedarville,” she said.
In the meantime, Ware said she plans to continue working for campus safety, along with cross-country bicycling with her husband, a favorite hobby of hers. She expressed thankfulness at the opportunities she has had throughout life.
“Here I am, just a normal person, but look what God has done for us. We’ve traveled the world. I can’t tell you how much the Lord has blessed us. We are so grateful.”
Steve Clark is a sophomore liberal arts major and reporter for Cedars. He hopes one day to become a pastor and to set a world record for total miles driven in a minivan.