Students walk lonely, dangerous road

“With the apparent increase in crime around campus in the past few months, it’s not easy to feel safe walking around after dark. Especially if you live on that side of Exchange. So Wednesday, I decided to see if anything had changed. I went around the neighborhood, looking for a police presence, people walking in groups, well-lit streets.”

With the apparent increase in crime around campus in the past few months, it’s not easy to feel safe walking around after dark.

Especially if you live on that side of Exchange.

So Wednesday, I decided to see if anything had changed. I went around the neighborhood, looking for a police presence, people walking in groups, well-lit streets.

That’s not exactly what I found.

In fact, in nearly one hour, I didn’t see any police. Maybe I’m just really good at avoiding them, or maybe they just weren’t around. In any case, I didn’t see any and, well, I didn’t really feel safe either.

I also saw several people walking alone. Don’t they read the safety tips online? I asked.

Only trying to help, I talked to a few of the people walking alone.

You shouldn’t be walking alone, you know. It isn’t safe, I offered politely.

That was probably creepy, an idea cemented in the fact that few people even responded. Others just looked plain uncomfortable.

Really, am I that intimidating? I wasn’t mugged myself, maybe that’s why.

I never realized I look so tough.

Or maybe these people were actually nervous about walking around alone – which they should be. Just last weekend, a woman was robbed at gunpoint less than a block from campus.

It doesn’t seem that the neighborhoods around campus are getting safer. In fact, crime is invading campus: in an incident last weekend, this time on campus, a woman was groped in a parking deck.

Not only are people who live around campus in danger, but now commuters, too? Avoiding parking decks is probably a good idea, especially after dark.

Walking through that side of Exchange, I didn’t see any police. The streets were lit, which created many shadows. And a lot of people walk alone, even though the university has advised them not to.

So my trip ended – it didn’t feel any safer than my walks over the summer, or last year. Nothing has changed, even though the crime has increased.

I was alone – but I wouldn’t advise doing the same.

I wouldn’t advise trusting the university with your safety, either.

Get some Mace.