Students can aid in feeling safer on campus


By Ali Qazi

In a Jan. 25 poll posted by the Northern Star, 50 out of 87 students, or 57 percent, answered no when asked if they feel safe on campus, but students should be doing more themselves, rather than blaming the university.

Throughout the years, students have raised concerns for safety on campus. However, it’s not always what the university can do, sometimes, it’s what the students can do to better protect campus.

The Jan. 14 Residence Hall Association meeting minutes had safety concerns listed. One of the things RHA wants to introduce is trespassing signage which would allow police to arrest individuals who are trespassing instead of escorting them out of buildings. This would be a major improvement on the part of the university.

“Public Safety is a shared responsibility,” NIU Police Commander Donald Rodman said.

In addition, the university already provides safety bulletin emails, warning students when safety concerns arise. There is only so much more the university can do, and students should recognize what is already being done.

“I am okay during the day with other students nearby, but at night I feel a bit scared to go outside alone, fearing I might get robbed,” sophomore psychology major Insha Fatimah said. “My first day at this school, I got an email saying there [was] a shooting nearby and that we shouldn’t go near that street — what a great welcoming.”

If a student doesn’t feel safe, they should call the Huskie Patrol at 815-753-1212. The patrol will escort students wherever they need to go. The university also offers the Huskie Safe Line from 11 p.m to 2 a.m, no questions asked. There are multiple safe routes to take home.

“I have noticed we could improve on our environmental safety as a whole. When I am walking out of lab or class at night, it’s dark by the science building,” Abrarius Kamel, senior biological science major, said. “I think cops take a while to arrive on scenes even though they are pretty close by.”

For those who have concerns in regard to the university as a whole not doing enough to prevent tragic incidents, RHA needs to shed some light on the future plans to improve feelings of safety on campus. Signage to prevent trespassers, inserted cameras and increased staff presence to deter crime are some of the ways RHA has proposed change. It’s important to note RHA has planned to start with the Stevenson Towers. Hopefully, however, they reconsider due to the Jan. 15 aggravated assault incident that occurred in Grant Towers.

RHA has also noticed and admitted it doesn’t have enough funding, according to the Jan. 14 meeting minutes.

“It will take a lot of money to [implement safety], and we are in a fiscally challenging environment,” according to Jan. 14 meeting minutes. “We got approval to [renovate Stevenson], but at this time we do not know where the money will come from for the rest of the buildings.”

For the well-being of students’ lives, students and the university need to work together to stop crime on campus. The university needs to stop with the remodeling of non-essential buildings and focus on getting funds for student safety in housing. All the while, students need to help the police and proper authorities by reporting crimes when they see them.