Many students, almost by habit, complain about the public safety situation at UM. It’s like second nature for Canes, it seems. When they drive into the Stanford entrance late at night, and see the gate arm go right up without having to stop or even slow down the car (and the wave from the catatonic security guard), they criticize lax security and pathetic public safety.
Students get public safety emails about crime reports on and near campus, meant to disseminate information about crimes that would help the community take steps to protect itself. You’re meant to post Crime Alerts in public areas so that the information is available to all. A few times, these Crime Alerts have resulted in tips that have solved crimes. But this awareness, which should be beneficial, can be skewed to suggest that campus is full of sneaks and thieves, not to mention honor code violators!
When you find fault, what part of security do you want to improve? What current or former dorm student hasn’t complained about swiping a ‘Cane Card after 10 p.m.? The number one crime on campus, according to the public safety website, is “theft of unattended and/or unsecured property.” This accounts for “between 50% to 80% of all crime on campus from month to month.” If you’re a public-safety-complainer, then it is probably because you’ve been hit by the campus crime wave before. Did you commit a common error, by going to sleep with an unlocked door, or forgetting to lock your car? Maybe you were the one who left his laptop in the library while you took a cigarette break. The website is full of information that everyone should know before it’s too late.
Imagine a massive computer glitch where, instead of having former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala as president of UM, the school becomes absorbed into the Department of Homeland Security. Doubtless? Then you haven’t gotten the worm yet. The school, now under the same enforcement as airports, becomes surrounded by high fences; every car must be searched before it enters; attendance is kept by swiping your ‘Cane Card. Imagine how fun a protest would be!
This is obvious exaggeration, but students aren’t making it clear either. What do they want of public safety, which is reasonable, affordable, and non-intrusive? When you complain about security, do you complain because of true faults, or just because security is a popular business these days? Try to order a pizza in airport-security dorms. The deliveryman’s likely to get frisked, and your pizza cold.
Where are U?
To date this semester, there have been no letters to the editor. Are we not doing our job? We know we can’t be doing it too well, seeing as how most trash bins on campus are full of copies of the Hurricane. Hasn’t anyone been offended by anything? You haven’t said anything about the new cartoon! Get your opinion on our newspaper out to the public. We are waiting…