Meredith College has always felt safer to me than any other campus I’ve been on. It’s small, everyone knows everyone, and during the weekdays there’s plenty of people around giving that false sense of safety and security I’ve grown so accustomed to during my three years here.
But recently there’s been numerous instances of strange men and individuals on campus including anti-abortion protestors, an unknown man in the library, and a man walking around campus asking students to let him into their dorms. All of these instances have reminded me that we are not safe here and there aren’t enough protocols to keep us safe in the event of an emergency.
Other holes in our security include the lack of blue boxes in all areas of campus, campus lights that are too dim or non-existent in places where students frequently traverse, and campus security staff who pick and choose when to do their jobs.
On the issue of Blue Light Boxes on our campus some have argued that the Blue Light Boxes are irrelevant and are more about security theater than actual safety. According to Rave Mobile Safety, Blue Light Boxes were implemented “after the tragic murder of Jeanne Clery at the University of Chicago in the 1980s.” In a post-cellphone era, though, they’ve become a costly and often underused part of campus safety. So if the implementation of more Blue Light Boxes isn’t the solution, then what is?
Non-existent lights on campus pose further risks to the well-being and safety of all who occupy this campus. From venomous snakes and uneven paths to the sudden increase in random intruders, Meredith does not feel safe anymore. In places where there are lights, they are oftentimes covered by overgrowth or trees, effectively blocking any light that may be present. Additionally the area leading up to the amphitheater is exceptionally dark at night, looking more like a void than a safe space to walk.
Safety on the Greenway has been a major concern since the greenway’s introduction to Meredith's campus. Frequently by the back tunnel, I have witnessed joggers from the green way jump the gate dividing the greenway and Meredith to gain access to Meredith’s property. While I appreciate the fence being a bit of a barrier, it would be good to station a guard down in that section to prevent people from gaining access to campus in that manner.
All of these are serious issues on campus that students should see fixed within the next year. Just because someone hasn’t been injured or a serious crime hasn’t occurred yet shouldn’t mean that students should be left to feel unsafe on their campus. We want to see action from Meredith Campus Police and the Executive Leadership Team (ELT).
By Rachel Van Horne, Associate Editor