Do you feel safe on campus?

With the recent events at Gallucci Hall, many students are concerned about their safety on campus. As such, we took the time to ask 100 students at The University of Akron how they feel; the results will be discussed in detail in this article. Many students requested that their responses be kept anonymous for publication.

With the recent events at Gallucci Hall, many students are concerned about their safety on campus. As such, we took the time to ask 100 students at The University of Akron how they feel; the results will be discussed in detail in this article. Many students requested that their responses be kept anonymous for publication.

When students were asked how safe they feel on campus, only five percent said that they felt safe. Interestingly, all five students who said they felt safe were male.

A male graduate student noted, While I feel safe on campus, I have been asked to walk my female classmates to their cars because they do not feel safe on campus.

33 percent of students said they felt somewhat safe on campus. Many students explained that they felt safe during the daytime, that they were only concerned about certain areas on campus, or that they were only concerned with the areas surrounding campus.

Just the surrounding neighborhoods make it sometimes a little bit scary, but directly on campus I feel safe, Richard Schramm, undergraduate majoring in International Business, explained.

Another male undergraduate echoed that sentiment: On campus is somewhat safe. It is south of campus that I worry about. Any of the side streets south of Exchange including Sumner, Allen, Grant, etc. are not good places to walk alone at night.

I feel safe on campus in general; it’s the areas directly around campus that worry me, Sara Molnar, an undergraduate majoring in Dance and minoring in Business, agreed. I live near Carroll Street, where I feel safer than south of campus, but we have still had problems with break-ins, my own house being targeted this past fall.

41 percent of students said they felt somewhat unsafe on campus. Students mentioned that the number of emails regarding crimes on or near campus was concerning to them.

With all the recent stuff in Z-alerts, especially the recent incident in Gallucci Hall, it is hard to feel safe at all, Ashley Pifer, an undergraduate studying Biology, said. People cannot be trusted these days, and I think the campus needs to do all it can to protect us from such people.

I read about so many armed robberies and sexual crimes through Zipmail that I feel like the UA police really have no influence or authority, said one female undergraduate.

Of the 100 students we spoke with, 21 percent of them do not feel safe on campus. Concerns mentioned by students included the number of recent crimes on campus, lack of lighting at night and a lack of perceived police and security presence on campus at night.

Most lighting is burned out or not bright enough, and it’s a real concern when it becomes dark because no one is looking out for you, said a male undergraduate student. When you get emails almost on a regular basis about kids on or near campus being robbed, it’s a problem. I think it’s hard for students to feel safe when so many incidents happen, and I think that probably runs through many students’ minds when walking to their car or through campus at night. It doesn’t matter if it’s night or day anymore…

The parking decks in particular are scary at night because they are typically very empty, said a female undergraduate. While some parts of campus are well-lit at night, other parts could have better lighting. A larger presence of on-campus police in the evening would be appreciated as well.

This campus is terrifying at night, Emily Schultz, undergraduate majoring in Public Relations and Communications, said. Even in the very early morning. I work at 6:30 a.m. and walking just from my building to the Union is so scary. I think this campus needs a lot more lighting at night and people to patrol campus all night, even if they are not escorting someone.

Alex Simmons, undergraduate and writer for the Buchtelite, mentioned his concern about how the administration is handling crime on campus. I never see any type of security personnel, and anyone that has to walk home from campus puts themselves in danger that drivers don’t have to worry about. I’ve actually written a couple articles in the Buchtelite that garnered the attention of Mrs. Campbell Jackson (from the President’s office) although there was no follow-up from her.

While the Campus Patrol Program offers to escort students to their cars, classroom or residence hall from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., 95 percent of the students we spoke with do not utilize their services. Only three percent of students said they sometimes take advantage of their services, and two percent said they always call for an escort when walking on campus at night.

Instead of using the Campus Patrol Program, many students have a classmate or friend escort them to their car or call a friend and talk on the telephone when they walk to their car at night.

I have a couple night classes this semester, and I often stay late working on a project, and I used to be fearful of walking a long distance to my car in the dark, said one female undergraduate. Luckily, it stays light a bit longer now, but I still often will wait for other people to be walking in the same direction as me and then follow near them so they are in my view, and if anything were to happen, someone else would be around.

Additionally, 31 percent of students carry protective devices such as Mace, whistles, etc. while walking on campus.

With some of the things that have happened on campus recently (shootings, robberies), there is always that voice in the back of my head that tells me to walk swiftly to my car with the Mace that is on my keys in my hand, Ashley Keenan, undergraduate studying Psychology, shared.

Of the male and female students we spoke with, there were significant differences in the level of concern between the two sexes. Females were significantly more likely to be concerned about their safety on campus, carry a protective device and have a friend or classmate escort them to their car.

I strongly feel that the University should employ security guards in every building to prevent non-students from gaining entrance in the buildings and potentially committing crimes. I also feel that the University should institute a system that involves students swiping their Zip cards to gain entrance in to the buildings. This may seem redundant and time consuming, but it is necessary to keep students safe, Caitlin Hudkins, undergraduate majoring in eMarketing and Advertising, said.

A female undergraduate majoring in Secondary Education put the responsibility on the students to keep each other safe and know what to do in the event of an emergency.

I always have my phone with me and I know what to do or who to call in case something does happen. I think that safety really just depends on going back to the basics of being aware of your surroundings. We are a big campus; we can all watch out for each other and I think we should.