Big Mike: The Go-To Guy
“He’s fair, he’s honest, he’s consistent, and respectful,” says Peter Romero, head of security.
He is Mike Lucero, the most well-known security officer on campus, and well-liked by the student body as a whole. Born and raised in Santa Fe, NM, Lucero only left the state when he joined the military. He spent many years in the Army and later served in the National Guard. He relies on his life-long training to successfully and smoothly accomplish his job on campus.
Lucero, also referred to by many as Big Mike, is the lead officer of the swing shift (about 4:30 p.m. to midnight). However, Lucero is more than just the lead, he’s known also as the go-to guy. “He’s always on the top of the list,” says Romero. When there are events on campus, even when they don’t coincide with his shift, Lucero is frequently requested.
Andrew Koss, a creative writing major and RA, says about Lucero, “I have always been able to rely on Mike to back me up. He always responds right away. Even when we’re in difficult situations, I have found him to be professional and respectful. He never loses his temper. He genuinely cares about students, and cares about doing his job well. Besides that, he’s got a great sense of humor, and keeps things light in tense situations.”
“Every time I had to work late at night, he would always make sure I was OK,” says film major Lani Dekker. This is what security is here for, too. If a student is on campus or off, security is there to help. If you are in a grocery store and can’t get a ride back: you can call security. If you’re taken to the hospital, security will pick you up if you don’t have the means. If you’re drunk, have a flat tire, or feel unsafe: You can call security.
“My favorite part of the job is student interaction. I like to give my character and be myself with students,” says Lucero. Second only to student interaction, he identifies humor as the next best thing. Lucero loves to joke around with students, and he’s always and forever the optimist. That being said, there are boundaries he sets. While Mike is friendly, fun and a jokester, he’s first and foremost a security officer. He’s there to assist students and keep the campus safe for all: students, faculty and staff.
There are three keys to being a successful officer: observation, reportage, and most of all, communication. Romero says, “[Mike] knows his job inside out and backwards.” Which is something many students observe about Lucero.
“Mr. Mike is one of the most selfless [people] on campus… He is definitely a positive role model on campus,” says studio arts student Tikia Fame.
A student-turned-staff member, Charlotte Martinez, director of the on-campus movie theater The Screen, says, “My freshman year, almost six years ago, my parents were on campus helping me move in. Mike was on duty. Not only did he introduce himself in his genuinely friendly way, but mid sentence he just started picking up boxes and lugging them to my room! My parents later said something like, if this was campus security then they wouldn’t worry about me at all.”
Creative writing major Felicia Mackey says of Lucero, “I honestly feel safer with him [around].”
He has one message to students on campus: “Be yourselves. Like I’m myself. Don’t put on a face. We’re here for you, security is here for you, I’m here for you.”