In order to stay safe, students should be aware
“Oh, just another one.” This was the thought that went through my head just after waking up to another university Crime Alert email informing students of an incident where a knife was pushed against a female student’s back.
That’s when I knew there was a problem.
The time when Crime Alert emails don’t seem so “alerting” is when the crime on our own campus has gotten a little out of hand. Even just one incident is scary, and two in one week hits the ball out of the park.
The first question that runs through my head is, “Why is crime on campus becoming so frequent?”
Most people would put the blame on the university’s security.
My answer: We’re not thinking.
Contrary to what some people may say lately after the recent crimes we have been informed of on campus, the university has a pretty strong security system.
We all notice the university police driving around in their SUVs. We notice this because the university offers 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols. How can we not notice?
On top of that, we are offered 24-hour emergency telephones located around campus, lighted pathways and sidewalks, student patrols and controlled dormitory access. Females are even offered the Froggie Five-0 rides for late-night transport and escort service.
The “escort” part seems to be forgotten by many females on campus. Yes, it conveniently takes us to our friend’s dorm when we do not feel like walking, but what if you studied late into the night?
What if you were leaving Ed Landreth Hall at 3 a.m. like the first female student was doing when, according to one of the alerts, she ended up being chased by an unidentified man?
We have to stop and think. We are offered a huge array of all types of security. The most the university could do would be to hire a few more security guards and police, but we still have to do our part.
Not to say that being more careful will automatically chase away any and all criminals, but it sure can make a difference. And those times when you do end up walking alone at night and university police are not just around the corner, the university is still providing you with a “plan B” escape for if or when trouble calls.
The woman who was chased by the unidentified man is a perfect example of this. The man started chasing the woman, who headed directly to an emergency telephone. Who knows what was running through that man’s head, but the woman said when he was within 20 to 30 feet of her, he stopped chasing her. I can guess why.
Just after he stopped the pursuit, the woman reached for the emergency phone. That one emergency phone that saved a woman represents the police, streetlights, access cards, Froggie Five-0 rides and other student escort services provided by the university.
Sporadic crime is never anyone’s fault except for the people who commit the crimes. We all know that, but we still have to be aware.
Leave outside lights on; call for an escort; always lock your door no matter what, including your car door. Look in your back seat before driving; always have your keys ready; always look alert and park in well lighted areas. It’s simple: Be aware.
Our security is better than a lot of other schools out there, and while there can always be room for improvement, the security is not all to blame.
I hope to never wake up to a second crime alert in the same week again. I hope to never wake up to one ever again. But reality is reality, and there will always be crime. So let’s use the security options we have.
Michelle McCain is a sophomore broadcast journalism and Spanish double major from Little Rock, Ark.