By Rachel Kimbrough
A month after the reported Sept. 15 kidnapping on this college’s campus, a Kansas City Kansas Community College student reported a similar incident, detailed on page three of this issue.
The college responded by sending out a safety message via InfoList, the college’s internal newsletter, detailing safety tips for students in parking lots and garages, assault prevention and theft prevention.
While I appreciate the tips, I can’t help but notice an absolute lack of a much-needed increase in security, especially in places like the Galileo parking garage or those miles-away, poorly-lit parking lots lining most of the perimeter of the college.
In fact, the only place I see campus police cruise at night are in the well-lit areas—they’re crawling all over the place around the Carlsen Center. It’s a party.
That is counter-intuitive to me.
Every other Tuesday night, the Ledger editorial staff hangs out up here in the newsroom until the wee hours of the morning, laying out the newspaper. A few times, I’ve forgotten to move my car out of the Galileo parking garage to a better-lit or higher-traffic parking area. Let me tell you, walking through that pitch-black lower floor of the parking garage, where I can’t see my fingers if I wave them in front of my face, is outright terrifying.
That’s where I’d like to see increased security, or even some security. I see campus police there during the day, but not at night.
Now, I stated my case about sparse campus security in my rant about the tobacco ban. And on that point, I still think it is thoroughly unrealistic to expect the tobacco ban to be a success, in many aspects including the lack of manpower required to enforce the ban.
But that police-related complaint is small potatoes compared to the not-unrealistic prospect of a 1 a.m. assault resulting partly from a lack of security. What preventative measures are public safety officials taking to face the much heavier issue than delinquent nicotine addicts—actual public safety?
Sending out a message with safety tips may be helpful, but what would actually demonstrate that the college cares at all about its attendants’ safety is visibility. Show us, somehow, that you are here, that you are watching, that you’ll be around if something perilous pops up.
Until then, I will continue to make a big dude walk me to my car at the end of production night, well-lit parking area or not.
Contact Rachel Kimbrough, editor-in-chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org.