I have been a student here since 2004, and up until this past year I have always felt safe and secure on our campus. Within a year it seems that crimes and attempted crimes against females, specifically, have increased. Sometimes we, as students, will receive “Crime Alerts” in our email inbox letting us know to be more careful and on the lookout. Yet I know of campus crimes and attempted crimes that have occurred for which an alert was not sent to the student body.
Yes, we all know about the incident in Mahoney-Pearson about a year ago when a male student assaulted a fellow female student; the incident here that happened late last semester at the UV when a man attacked a female resident; and, of course, the most recent incident with the female jogger. However, do the students know about how my friend was attacked and chased down (twice) walking along San Amaro Drive by two males last semester? Or about the other girl who had been chased down by the same men as my friend also last semester? No. No “Crime Alert” was sent out then and nothing has been done about it. In fact, it seems they have brushed off those three events completely. How many other crimes have occurred on campus that we as students have not been informed about?
Of course after the UV incident last semester, security was beefed up around UV until we all left for winter break. Since we have been back from break, there has been less security and at times no security official can be seen around at all. So what do you know, another girl was attacked. Which brings me to the whole point of this letter and my question: What exactly DO the UM police do? Fortunately, I have the answer.
This past week I went out to my car in the UV parking garage and found a “citation,” not a ticket but just a “courtesy notice/warning.” It said this: “Found unsecured bag in the front seat. Please secure all property for the safety of your car. Thank you.” Apparently instead of making sure our students are safe on an increasingly unsafe campus, our police staff is going around and looking into our cars for things we have left behind. The cop who left this friendly warning on my car would have had to have been on the third floor of the UV garage and looking into my car window to see that I had left a small bag of pencils in my front seat. There is no way he or she would have seen my bag otherwise.
The possessions of students can be replaced. What cannot be replaced is the value of the lives of our students. Are the police more concerned with protecting my bag of pencils or me? For my sake and everyone else here at UM, I sincerely hope it is the latter.
Something needs to be done to protect the safety of our students and, as a female student in particular, I feel that not enough is being done. Not even our newspaper pays true attention to this concern. You would rather have a front page full of Chipotle or the changing hours of bars in the Grove than of something that all students should really be informed about. I truly long for the day when I will again be able to walk around campus without the imminent feeling of a possible threat.
After receiving this letter, The Miami Hurricane plans to look into these cases and other such issues.
If you ever have any concerns or ideas regarding security, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.