CSUN prides itself on academic excellence, diversity and the ability to provide a forum for intellectual debate. However, how can we have any of those great things without feeling safe on campus? As the semesters pass by like a runaway freight train, we continue to hear stories of rape, theft and crime on campus. CSUN officials, I ask you, is it fair for all my female friends and the rest of the CSUN female population to feel unsafe after dark? They have to alter their walking patterns on campus just to make sure they don’t get raped or mugged.
CSUN officials, is it fair for already financially poor students to have their laptops stolen at the library, classrooms and dorms? How do you think students feel walking into the Oviatt Library expecting to study when they see a poor hopeless student plea to the campus police to find the person that stole her laptop? Did you know that when graduate students leave their private study rooms, other people are eagerly waiting to break in and steal whatever they can get a hold of? I had that happen to me.
When I left my locked study room, I saw another person peek into the room, I turned around and he gave me a wonderful stare. I told him I was leaving, and that he could check out the study room. He said “oh OK” with guilt a look of guilt on his face. It looked to me like he wasn’t a graduate student trying to find a study room, but a thief waiting for the right opportunity. I mentioned it to the front desk and they just reminded me to lock my door. They didn’t do anything else. They didn’t say they’d take future preventative measures to prevent things like that from happening. This is your typical apathetic response to an already apathetic campus.
The CSUN campus reminds me of the Wild West – just be ready to have your things stolen. Women, make sure to carry your pepper spray around campus. How convenient is it for those booths at the yearly fairs that have pepper sprays to sell out every time? Is the motto, keep the campus just safe enough to prevent death, but not safe enough for women to walk at night? Critics can argue that this is the result of society at large. I’m not making that point. If CSUN claims to be high and mighty, then clean up the environment.
The area around the dormitories is desolate, which is conducive to more crime. Maybe increase foot traffic by having events across the street in the twilight hours of the day. Make the screening process for the RAs more stringent, and not just a means for students to receive free housing. Actually find students who want to help students make the transition from home to the dormitories. I’ve heard too many horror stories of RAs not caring about student complaints.
I have to commend CSUN for its actions by having extra campus police, more campus escorts and other ways to keep the campus safe. However, I think more should be done. Create programs to unite the campus together.
My suggestions might not work, but at the very least they’re suggestions. I think the more people question and want change, the more we’ll find better ways to make the campus a safe learning environment. I’m just tired of walking on campus fearing that my friends will get raped or I’ll have my belongings stolen, and I’m sure most of you reading this feel the same way.
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