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Campus Safety Awareness

It’s not very known that September represents National Campus Safety Awareness Month. This title has existed since 2005, and yet not many students–if any– know about it. A university should encourage campus organizations to do all they can during the month of September, and year round, to promote campus safety and security.

For any student, safety is an extremely important element to have at any college or university. Many of the student body are far away from their homes; so when they come to college they want to trust that the university will do everything in their power to make sure that they are well protected.

VSU’s Women and Gender Studies program holds multiple events on campus to help promote sexual assault awareness.  There are also community service promotions headed by the Greek organizations.

But where are the events that help put students at ease by entrusting VSU with their lives? After all, when you think about it, that’s what students are doing when they move on campus into these residence halls–putting their lives into the hands of VSU’s administration and police department.

VSU does so much to bring awareness to other issues. Why not highlight campus safety?

Police availability is more than just important, but essential to a campus. As long as campus police departments are doing their job, students will complain less.

According to crime reports provided online by the VSU police department in 2011, there were four weapons violations, one of which was in a residential facility. I don’t know about anybody else, but one weapon is enough for me because that’s all it takes to take someone’s life.

Each year since 2008, there has been at least one forcible sex offense. If that isn’t enough, in 2011, there were 65 burglaries, 40 of which were in dorms.

If there were more events being held and a better effort was made to make students more informed, maybe this problem wouldn’t exist.

Of course crime happens anytime, anywhere and most of it is unstoppable. Of course a person shouldn’t solely rely on police, or anyone else for that matter, to come to his or her rescue. Students should be able to help themselves in certain situations – and yes, we should take better precautions. There is a Campus Alert system that VSU uses really well.

Those facts are not to be ignored.  However, there is room for improvement on campus–other than just a Rape Aggression Defense course or a 24-hour escort service that not many students know about.

This editorial is no way, shape or form an attack on VSU’s Police Department or the campus itself. Please take no offense.

This editorial is an alert to all campus officials that there is a concern within the campus community regarding safety that won’t disappear. Keep doing what you’re doing, but please work to establish more security for the student body. You can’t stop every single crime, but you can show us that you care enough to attempt to reduce them.

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