Students petition OSU to make campus safer
By Katelyn OsterPosted Nov 22, 2011
We’ve all seen the barrage of safety alerts these past few weeks; emails have frequented each OSU student’s inbox detailing crimes occurring in the campus area. One student has had enough.
In response to the 12 victims of recent robberies on The Ohio State University’s main campus since October, OSU senior and mathematics major Michael Dworkin created a petition Nov. 11 that asks the university to do more to protect its students. The petition can be found at www.change.org.
The goals of this petition are to increase student safety through implementing ideas such as off-campus video surveillance, extended hours of student safety shuttle services and spreading the word about the recent crimes.
The petition has already received an outstanding amount of support; in five days it was signed by nearly 3,800 people and that number is growing.
Currently, the student safety shuttle services are only available on campus from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. Starting winter quarter, these hours will change to 6 p.m. until 3 a.m. Some of the recent victims, Aaron Peacock and Bryan Glivar, were attacked after the cutoff for escorts at 3:45 a.m. on Nov. 13, leaving one beaten rather badly and the other hospitalized. Having these services available until 6 a.m. is one suggestion that was drafted by the petition in order to increase student safety.
Other students are looking to themselves for protection.
“I feel as though due to the frequency of the accusations and the similarity of the suspects that this is an isolated crime spree perpetuated by a few individuals and not indicative of a broader crime problem,” said fourth year OSU accounting and finance major Michael Watson. “I'm not doing anything different in response to the recent events. I just don't walk down alleys late at night. Common sense.”
Some students are looking to the very nature of the campus alert system as the culprit for students’ recent sense of uneasiness. When asked what he would like to see the campus police force do to ensure student safety, one student commented on the ‘unnecessary details’ provided by the alerts.
“I would mostly like to see the campus police stop sending out these crime alerts that basically just contribute to racial profiling,” said fourth year OSU anthropology major Kyle Olson. “I understand that there have been a lot of incidents lately, but to me it’s really unnecessary to include that information.”
What could the campus police force do to make students feel safer?
“I guess I would say to look for a pattern in these crimes and strategically patrol those areas,” said fourth year OSU mechanical engineering major Blake Moffatt. “I feel pretty safe because I’m a commuter, but to my knowledge this stuff hasn't been going on near the parts of campus that I’m usually around.”
If students are worried about walking home late at night, safety services are available until 3 a.m. through The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety. You can call them anytime at (614) 292-3322 for more information or to arrange an escort. For a full list of areas they service, visit their webpage at http://www.ps.ohio-state.edu/sss/escortinfo/. To sign the petition for increased student safety and share your ideas, visit http://www.change.org/petitions/the-ohio-state-university-increase-student-safety-2/._