Several instances of criminal activity have taken place on and near campus in the past two weeks. Several break-ins, harassing phone calls and a student mugging all took place during October.
Something must be done to ensure the safety of the student body. While the ACU Police Department adds vehicles to its fleet of cruisers and increases the number of officers on duty, what does the university do? Surveillance cameras must be installed on several of the buildings on campus to ensure supervision of what happens in the campus’ interior.
One of our very own Optimist staff members was attacked late Thursday evening during his walk from the Don H. Morris Center to University Park Apartments. As he walked between Moody Coliseum and the Campus Center, two subtle individuals lunged at him, trying to steal his camera while pounding on the top of his head with their fists.
None of this was recorded on camera. The best that has been done is looking at the cameras within the residence halls for people coming and going around the time of the attack. But no leads have surfaced.
The solution is simple. If there had been cameras focused on various parts of the campus during the time of the attacks, the hunt for the individuals who attacked Brian Schmidt, senior photojournalism major from Austin and chief photographer for the Optimist, would be a much easier process.
It seems like a no-brainer that the safety of students on campus at night should be a priority. Although ACU police officers cruise the roads around campus, the interior of the campus simply cannot be seen from these roads, leaving much of the campus unsupervised.
Students are often on campus until late into the night because of student activities like studying in the library, which is open until midnight; working on student publications such as the Optimist; or simply taking a late night walk or jog before bed. Students should be able to enjoy and utilize the campus of the university they pay so much to attend without the fear of being mugged.
Because ACU police can’t catch every instance of crime in the neighborhood, it is the university’s responsibility to install surveillance equipment and increase campus security to monitor what happens late at night. For when this plan is executed, students won’t have to fear walking from an academic building to their cars, apartments and residence halls.
Crime cannot be completely eliminated. It’s an ever-present part of society, but students will feel more comfort knowing their university has taken every possible step to keep them safe.