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Editorial: Campus security a shared responsibility

Issue date: 8/28/09 Section: Opinion
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That a graduate student sitting in a frequented outdoor location could be raped at knifepoint at 10:45 a.m. sent waves of concern throughout University Circle. Though the suspect was taken into custody, several other security alerts quickly followed, naturally leading to questions about whether security is lacking at Wade Lagoon or at CWRU as a whole.

Crimes like the ones which occurred this summer over a narrow timeframe are indeed
worrisome - there's no debate about that. A spate of crime like that will naturally
leave many wondering if a lack of campus security is to blame. Yet the frustrating thing about the crimes that occurred over the summer is that they come at a time when security around Case Western Reserve University has steadily improved.

The CWRU police department has operated as a separate entity for nearly three years
now, but police coverage of campus is not restricted to Case Police - the University
Circle Police Department and Cleveland Police Department also overlap coverage areas onto campus. Security camera placement has been expanded over the last few years, new security telephones were recently installed, and the Safe Ride van program, which began last spring, has proved to be a useful addition.

Additionally, the recently adopted CaseWARN system would serve to alert subscribers via phone and text message in the event of an emergency.

We hope these improvements are indicators of more on the way. The Safe Ride program
could be expanded due to demand, and some have stated concerns about the accuracy
and completeness of information sent out in some security alerts. Patrol routes
should always be reevaluated and adjusted as necessary so that police and security officers are being utilized in problem areas.

The fact remains, though, that CWRU remains an urban campus, and beyond that,
crimes that occur when and where we least expect them are precisely the ones that are
hardest to prevent. The University of Chicago, an urban university with approximately 5,000 undergraduates and nearly 10,000 postgrads, reported an average of 332 violent crimes per year (defi ned as murder, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault and battery) for the period of 2005 to 2007. Two murders have occurred on or
near Chicago's campus this year alone. At CWRU (admittedly with a smaller student
population), the average was approximately 12 of those same crimes per year during
that same period.

Campus security is a shared responsibility - it takes the administration to enact improvements, as well individuals to exercise caution. Any student, from freshman to graduate, can take steps to ensure their own personal safety the majority of the time. Take advantage of resources available to you; security escorts and the Safe Ride van are
available by calling . Travel with a friend and stay alert, and don't let unfamiliar people follow you into buildings.

Life is unpredictable, but common sense precautions are the easiest and most effective ways to keep potential issues at bay, and combined with changes to police coverage in addition to security improvements, much of the risk we associate with attending an urban university can be mitigated.
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In This Issue

News

  • A conversation with Major Jason Winterle
  • Budgeting 101 for college students
  • Can you name this place?
  • Case holds first annual Campus Security Fair
  • Case Western prepares to serve community
  • Have you heard about ACM?
  • Nursing "freshmen stimulus" provides support for incoming students, provokes unease
  • USG Briefs

Sports

  • Club sports & news
  • Fantasy Football
  • Gameday
  • Volleyball goes 3-1 at Wooster
  • Women's soccer takes two at JCU

Fun Page

  • Crossword Solution
  • Maze Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions

Opinion

  • "You lie:" an old-fashioned outburst
  • Buenos Aires: most romantic city?
  • Editorial: Student groups deserve credit for programming
  • Learning to be responsible
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Letters to the Editor
  • State your case photos: What would you do with an Inamori Ethics Prize?

Focus

  • All's Well in CWRU MFA/Cleveland Playhouse production of overlooked Shakespeare classic
  • Dittrick Medical History Center reopens exhibit on history of contraception
  • Fashion for the frugal: look stylish on a budget
  • Hitting the Spot: The Antlers
  • Making breakfast work for you: getting a grip on granola
  • Nintendo DS game mixes strategy and traditional RPG elements for unique, timesaving gameplay
  • The Buzz
  • The Worst Case Scenario
  • Trail of Dead coming to Cleveland

Football

  • Whalen becomes all-time passing leader in win over Rochester

Sex and Dating

  • Executing the first date

Soccer

  • Stopped at nothing: Spartans shut out No. 21 Ohio Northern

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Andrea Wojtowicz
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