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Addressing ‘Stranger Danger’

Written by: John Preer

Campus safety is usually one of those subjects that fall to the background until it is compromised. With the recent influx of crime on campus, the issue of safety has found its way to the forefront of discussions. VSU administrators

have since then taken steps to improve the safety of students and faculty while on campus, but many still question whether or not their efforts are enough.

While we don’t believe the safety measures VSU currently has in place are sufficient, it would be irresponsible to assert that more can be done by the university. No matter how much effort and funding goes into safety, the university can’t guarantee the safety of every single student and faculty member on campus.

If the students want to lessen their chances of a run-in with potential criminals, they must adopt a certain level of self-accountability. Walking alone at night is an easy way to become a target of theft. Avoiding dimly lit areas after certain times is a simple measure to lessen the chances of being assaulted.

During a recent Faculty Senate meeting, President William McKinney stated that in response to the robberies around the University Center, VSU would relocate the ATM to the Student Union. Although the ATM was located at the University Center for stadium patrons, it would seem as if the safety of students trumped the convenience of fans.

Measures such as this are necessary, but is moving an ATM to a better-lit location enough? Apparently not for VSU, because in response to a rash of bicycle thefts, a portion of VSU’s budget has been spent on improving video surveillance around campus. Many bike thefts have gone unresolved due to the ineffectiveness of security cameras. More cameras could help with identifying persons suspected of theft.

Some are still not satisfied with the steps taken by the university to improve campus safety, but what more is possible?

We believe that the student body would only reject more extreme measures such as mandatory curfews or a buddy system. It’s hard to find a balance between protection and freedom. VSUPD can’t ensure one without encroaching upon the latter.

We assert that judgment on the efficiency of these new measures should be held pending a review of their affectivity. If newer cameras, an updated campus alert system and ATM relocation aren’t enough to ensure safety, then the only plausible course of action is to put some of the responsibility on students.

How do you feel about the administration’s response to campus safety?

Express your opinions by sending the staff a tweet at @vsuspectator.

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