More precautions needed since recent car theft

Every week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff.

We were shocked to learn that a grand theft happened on this campus. It is easy to forget that we are in a bustling city. St. Edward’s University is tucked up here on the hill surrounded by quiet landscaping and students shuffling from class to class. Even in the quiet of our campus, halting crime can and does happen.

The recent streak of crime on campus is very unusual, but it does show students that St. Edward’s is not a secluded area free from crime. More importantly, though, it shows that the school needs to take better precautions to prevent crime from happening on campus.

Walk around campus at night and you may notice that there are patches of darkness for extended areas in between lights. This causes students who have classes at night, or who are just walking around campus, to feel unsafe — and for good reason. When a member of St. Edward’s staff is carjacked at gunpoint, our sense of safety is even more fragile.

While more lights will not stop anyone from committing a crime, it may deter potential criminals from acting in well-lit places.

Sexual assault is also a huge problem on college campuses. With reporting low, it is so important to make sure all kinds of precautions are kept. We cannot just inform people on how to stay safe or educate people about sexual assault; though this is necessary, it is not enough. We must prevent actual crime.

Maybe the school could offer self-defense classes. Perhaps the school could find energy efficient ways of lighting the campus up at night and having tighter security.

It should be a comfort to know there are 110 security cameras on campus according to Capt. Dan Beck of university police. These cameras are monitored. Also, there are a total of 16 officers all together working for UPD. At any given time, there are two officers on duty and one dispatcher ready to take calls. We can be reassured that are safety is a prime concern of UPD. 

Maybe it goes beyond cost to have a police officer in every building at all times, but until then, security cameras will be the cost effective solution. Even so, UPD should have a stronger visibility on campus, especially at night and in the early morning. 

What is worrisome is that the recent car-jacking could be more than an isolated incident. Increasing crime would decrease enrollment. A part of the school’s appeal is that it is small and quiet, but if that is just an illusion then St. Edward’s has lost a major attraction.