Lock your doors, use your brain

Jasmine Wiggins

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. This is your captain speaking – Captain Obvious. I know you may not like me. It’s tough to hear the truth.

Intrusions of the unfriendly kind have been plaguing Northwestern. Last week, the campus saw two dorm intrusions and three robberies. In April, there were two attempted robberies. Someone allegedly found a key fob to get into Allison Hall, and both the Allison and Public Affairs Residential College intrusions were said to be unforced.

As Captain Obvious, I just have to say one thing: It’s not a matter of increasing security. It’s a matter of increasing common sense.

Many students say they don’t feel safe anymore. As a result, there has been a massive search to find a solution to the problem. The university is increasing campus police patrols, putting security officers near the South campus dorms that were broken into, hired two additional campus security officers, and police and security officers will now enter dorm lobbies, according to Vice President of University Relations Alan Cubbage.

Call me silly, but where were these so-called security units before? If something isn’t working, adding more of the same uselessness won’t solve the problem.

An October 24 Daily article stated more nighttime patrols would be added and increased lighting would be implemented. This was in October. It is now May. Promises stacked on top of promises aren’t going to save anyone. According to UP and the university, we should be safer, right? Wrong. Institutional methods for preventing crime can only go so far.

The university’s efforts to increase security are necessary and NU should be commended for trying to make campus safer. But we as students can’t expect the university to completely take care of us just because we’re living on campus.

There’s a false sense of security living on campus. You know your neighbors and, you’re right, they probably won’t steal from you. But non-students can get access to the dorms, and while we should expect NU to protect us to a degree, that protection can only go so far.

You wouldn’t leave your window open with no screen if you knew there was an swarm of hornets hovering around, would you? Hornets can fly through cracks in doors. So can human perpetrators.

To paraphrase the army – you, the intelligent student who can’t operate a waffle iron, are a security force of one. The UP Web site states preventing crime is simple: “Remain alert and attentive to potential dangers; don’t put yourself at risk and immediately report suspicious incidents/circumstances to the police.” Basically, use common sense.

If there’s someone you don’t know standing outside, don’t let that person in. Would you rather your hallmate be surprised in the middle of the night by some sicko or risk offending a potential student? The university can’t make that choice for you.

Jasmine Wiggins is a Medill sophomore. She can be reached at [email protected]