Campus safety? If that’s what you want to call it

Najee Walker, Associate News Editor

Is it safe on campus anymore? Before you look away or turn that page, think about it. Sexual assault one week, a stabbing the next week, an armed robbery another. Can I expect to hear about an art heist at the Burchfield Penney next?

Yes, I am trying to make light of this situation, but that is because it is actually very daunting and unnerving to think that the place where I go to get an education is suddenly unsafe.

As a former resident of Perry Hall, Tower 1, and STAC, it hits very close to home to hear that things of this nature are happening. It makes me proud and happy to say that I’ve moved off-campus and that I will not think twice about looking back.

For me, I know I can retreat to a home where— for the most part—I know I’ll be safe. Where I know my roommates do not have guns and knives. Or are thinking of turning to robbery for God knows what.

Other students living on campus now, probably do not feel the same way. Students should feel safe in their dorm buildings, they should feel safe on campus. I can only imagine the tension everyone must feel now with receiving an alert every week now. It’s almost like the students living at Canisius and Medaille got a better deal than those students stuck on Buffalo State’s campus.

So, what do we do? Who do the students complain to? What should University Police do?

I’ve been speaking to a lot of people — students and former students. Some think that the housing authority should enact a screening. No violent people should be living in dorms. I agree with that, but that is a cause for some kind of discrimination, isn’t it? If they deny the wrong person housing because they deemed them too violent or something, we would probably be looking at lawsuit after lawsuit.

Other people seem to think that there should be a little more patrol in the dorms. That is something I can agree with. No offense to the students that sit the desk overnight—you know, the ones in the red shirts—that is fine and all. However, those are still just students covering the front entrance. STAC for example has a lot of ways for students to let people in without the front desk staff knowing it ever happened.

I guess you could argue that the cameras are in place for a reason, but they are only helpful after something has happened. If we had people truly enforcing the “sign your guest in” and “show me your ID” rules, we would likely have something a little more tight when it comes to investigations.

University Police, this is not a jab at you. But I don’t think patrolling the perimeter of the campus in your cars is doing the job. Perhaps a few people in the halls every now and then would at least boost morale in the dorms. Perhaps people would feel better.

However, bravo to the officers who catch the predators who are trying to grab at women while they’re trying to get back to their dorms.

At the same time, take a look at the Buffalo State crime blotter. Over 40 cases in the past couple weeks since school has started. I am not sure if that is an average number, or if that is to be expected, but it seems like a lot to me.

I guess, when it comes right down to it, I think students should be a little outraged. Maybe more than a little. I think that students should demand that safe feeling they are promised when they come and take tours of the campus in high school. I think that we’re facing a real issue here. Students with guns and knives and box cutters.

Something has to change.

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Twitter: @NajeeW93