The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Protect yourself, because campus police won’t

Students have a million things to worry about, priorities to take care of, classes to take, homework to do, studying for tests, or working full time or part time. The thought of being a victim of a cruel act is the last thing on our minds that we take for granted. Who could blame those who feel safe on CSUN’s vibrant campus? College grounds are a sanctuary for students engaging in their studies. Taking extra precautions to prevent becoming the next victim is a responsibility necessary that all of us must bear.

Crime on campus and within the residential community has steadily risen in the past four years. A safe haven for students, educators and faculty alike, increasing crime rates is worrisome to CSUN’s community where nearly 34,000 students and 4,000 faculty occupy our vast 356-acre campus.

According to crime reports compiled from 2004 through 2006, total crimes on campus reported increased throughout the three-year span. In 2004, 289 total crimes were reported. In the following year, the crimes reported rose to 296. And in 2006, the crimes reported rose to a total of 359.

Crime records in the residential community, which include dorms and surrounding apartment complexes, did not increase. In 2004, a total of 141 crimes were reported. In 2005, a total of 115 crimes were reported. And in 2006, 123 incidents were reported.

Some may argue that we need more security personnel to accommodate all of the students and faculty so that we may have a more stringent approach to crime prevention.

The University Police Department has 27 sworn officers patrolling our campus. Two of the officers are responsible for the dorms housing area located off Zelzah Avenue, past Northridge Academy High School. Aside from parking enforcement, these 27 officers patrol our campus to protect our college community from criminal activity.

If we were to assign each officer to an equal amount of the total students, each officer would be responsible for approximately 1,200 students. It’s hard to believe that one officer can keep a close eye on 1,200 students at any given moment something happens.

Theft and burglary are the top two crimes committed on campus and residential areas. In 2004, there were 169 reported thefts on campus, and later in 2006, 222 thefts were reported. In the residential community, there were 53 thefts out of a total of 123 crimes reported in 2006. More than half of the total crimes committed are theft and burglary.

It’s more likely for theft to occur because of easy access for criminals. The library is where we leave belongings unattended like laptops and purses. It is also our favorite napping spot. This presents the perfect opportunity for someone to pick up your laptop or purse and walk away with it without you knowing. We don’t expect someone would steal our belongings in the library of all places.

Last November, an African-American male suspect was seen taking a laptop off a desk on the fourth floor of the Oviatt Library. Surveillance cameras managed to get pictures of the suspect, which is on CSUN’s University Police Division website under special bulletins.

So keep your eyes open, be alert, taking extra steps of precaution never hurt. Make sure you lock car doors, never leave any of your belongings unattended, and look out for one another. Paying closer attention to our surroundings will help minimize the chance of being a victim of theft or burglary.

Take responsibility for your own safety. If you’re taking night classes or studying late at the library, do not walk alone. The matador escort program is available during night times. Protecting our fellow students and ourselves is far more effective then depending on the police to come to the rescue.

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