With the recent string of armed robberies occurring near Washington University’s Danforth Campus, I started to ask myself why they were happening.
Following early morning concerns about security on campus, police and security forces were posted at most campus entrances to check identification and credentials, but bolstered security presence and barricades did not prove entirely effective come post-debate.
Despite an established protocol meant to only allow credentialed individuals and those with Washington University IDs on campus today, many non-approved individuals from the surrounding area arrived on campus Sunday morning without a security check.
Despite the number of important figures and out-of-town delegates arriving at Washington University this weekend for the Clinton Global Initiative University conference, the campus will not see noticeable security differences or road restrictions.
Last month’s increase in crime in neighborhoods where a significant number of Washington University students live has attracted plenty of attention. In response, off-campus neighborhood patrols have been visibly increased, to the relief of students and parents alike.
Those students living on the North Side might have noticed the addition of a badge-wielding security guard at the Village on weekend nights. It seems to me there might be two motivations behind the installation of this security. One is to ensure general order and prevent any unrest; the second is the prevention of theft.
Every semester, my backpack surprises my classmates. No, it’s not high-tech, excessively large or hot pink. I have a mesh backpack, and apparently very few students at Wash. U. are accustomed to seeing one. Of course, having had a mesh backpack for most of my life, I think it’s pretty weird for me to see so many students carrying opaque bags.
So, after the latest attack on a (grad) student at our prestigious university, I have to wonder when—or if—something (anything!) is going to be done about the living conditions off campus. I find it highly ironic that while the University is busy turning the South 40 into Candy Land, students are getting mugged, beaten and robbed in and around their shady off-campus apartments. While I understand that the new South 40 is primarily intended to impress the money right out of Daddy’s wallet and into the chancellor’s lap, what I don’t understand is how the University can stand behind its off-campus housing situation.
After the latest attack on a (grad) student at our prestigious university, I have to wonder when—or if—something (anything!) is going to be done about the living conditions off campus.