The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Officer Pat: The man behind the legend

Officer Pat Conlin with his oldest son Alex, who attends Marquette. Photo by Emily Waller / [email protected]

Department of Public Safety Officer Pat Conlin was brutally honest about the reason he joined the DPS force and now swipes in students overnight in McCabe Hall five nights a week.

“The cost of tuition (at Marquette) is atrocious,” he said with a laugh. “I did it for the rebate on the tuition.”

But Conlin was not talking about taking classes at the university himself, which is something he said other DPS officers have taken advantage of.

He was referring to his eldest son Alex, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, who will be receiving the benefits of his dad’s sleep-depriving job when he is a senior.

Pat Conlin will have worked for DPS for four years this spring. He said after five years of working for the safety service, he will be reimbursed the tuition for each of his children that attend the school from that point on.

That is a pretty nice bonus considering the cost of undergraduate tuition at Marquette will increase $1,360 next year to $31,400, and has increased by an average of 6.3 percent annually since the 2006-’07 academic year, the Tribune reported Feb. 1. Room and board is not rebated, he said.

Pat has four sons, ranging from Alex to a first grader back in his hometown, West Bend, Wis. Naturally, he said he is happy to be able to be around the university while his son is here, saying Alex would “bop in occasionally” to say hello or order Chinese food.

Pat said the level of safety and security at Marquette impressed him, both as a DPS officer, and also as a parent of a student. He said he is especially happy about the “little amount of driving on campus (by students).”

Alex, who lives in Straz Tower, said he doesn’t mind having his dad working on the campus — as long as he isn’t working at his dorm, which he purposefully hasn’t.

The elder Conlin jokingly said he and other Safety Services Officers who check students into the dorms overnight are “vampires,” and that on average he goes through an assortment of four cups of coffee or energy drinks each night.

“I really don’t have a good sleep schedule,” Conlin said. “I’ve found it works best when I can go right to sleep after the shift though.”

He said this isn’t always able to happen because he still has to do his job as a parent with his three other sons back home. He also helps out around his wife’s veterinary clinic in West Bend.

“My fifth grader has something like five basketball games next week,” he said.

But regarding his interactions with students late at night, first at McCormick Hall two years ago, then Schroeder Hall last year, Conlin said he “really gets to know the hardcore students and partiers.”

He said one memory that stuck out to him was a former resident who once sought him out after living in his dorms at both McCormick and Schroeder. The resident, he said, told Conlin he wasn’t sure if he would have been able to stick it out at Marquette if Conlin hadn’t been around to talk to at times.

“I try not to preach, but I definitely am concerned with the well-being of the students. Concern, but not preaching, I think,” Conlin said.

Conlin, who struck up conversations with several students checking into McCabe early Wednesday morning, seems to be a popular fixture in the dorm.

Mark Hampton, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, described his presence succinctly, and with appreciation.

“That’s a good guy,” Hampton said, as he gave Officer Pat his MarquetteCard to swipe in.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *