Students still feel safe despite assault

Students still feel safe despite assault

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Zak Porter / The Arbiter

Between 2008 and 2010 there were a total of 764 recorded crimes committed on campus. Now, that number will sound big and scary, but the reality is less than one percent of those were physical attacks.

Specifically, .8 percent including sex offenses and aggravated assault. 4.5 percent were theft-related, .3 percent were arson and 1.3 percent were illegal weapons possession violations and arrests.

The majority of crimes committed were alcohol and drug violations or arrests—they account for 87.9 percent of all offenses.

Fittingly, students don’t seem to be too worried about being attacked on campus. They feel safe and unthreatened, even at night.

“It’s just that I don’t feel like anyone threatening will go on campus, and there’s always someone to go places with you,” said freshman Aryssa Hutchinson.

The buddy system is a tried and true method and one students will employ if they’re going out after dark.

“I’m never out late, and I have a buddy with me all the time,” such as freshman Michelle Fournier.

And the precautions taken on campus—like the blue security posts—seem to serve their purpose, both as a way to contact security or the police in the event of an emergency, and in quelling whatever fears students may have about their safety.

“There are lights around campus, so I can see things around me and they have the security check-points. I’m always near one,” Fournier said.

After the assault over break, one would expect the feeling of safety on-campus to decline, but the truth is it didn’t—at least not in the long run.

“I (felt less safe) at first, but not so much anymore. I feel because they made it public, precautions will be taken,” Fournier said. And perhaps there’s some truth to the feeling of safety when assaults are made public. The feeling there would be more to
worry about if the university had covered it up, not said anything.

But they didn’t, they made the attack public, and with that they did, in a strange way, provide a feeling of safety among the students. It certainly doesn’t promote the idea that walking around campus in the early hours of the morning all alone is a good plan, but with the right precautions taken by students—the buddy system, being aware of your surroundings—campus isn’t and shouldn’t be an inherently dangerous place to be.

Do you feel safe on campus?

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