Campus Police Must Go Beyond One Suspect to Improve Safety

Photo courtesy of Devon Buchanan

Four women have been sexually abused near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus since Sept. 6, according to The Phoenix. That is four women in 16 days.

Two of these women were sexually abused on Winthrop Avenue, near my current residence, Seattle Hall.

As a woman at Loyola, I am aware of the dangers of walking alone at night in the city.

I have even had female friends attacked on Albion Avenue or downtown off the Jackson Red Line stop within the past year.

But, never have I noticed anything dangerous next to my residence hall.

Nothing has so imminently threatened my safety or occurred just outside my bedroom window.

The number of Loyola students who experience sexual violence could increase over time if nothing is done to prevent more sexual crimes from happening.

Women should not fear walking back to their dorms on Winthrop Avenue after a night class.

Women should not fear attending parties off campus on Friday nights.

Women should not walk in fear of being groped by a stranger riding a bicycle.

Women ages 18 to 24 who are enrolled in college are three times more likely to be assaulted than women in general, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

Women in college are 78 percent more likely to be victims than women not enrolled in college, according to RAINN. When will Campus Safety realize this?

Campus Safety needs to find a way to keep our students safe. Patrolling more on the streets of our campus rather than, say, keeping everyone in the Information Commons quiet is a great idea.

Although the recent sexual crimes happened on Winthrop Avenue, I have yet to see one Campus Safety patrol car on Winthrop Avenue at night. When something happens right across the street from my residence hall, I have the right to be worried.

Campus Safety announced that it had caught one of the men responsible.

While this makes my safety feel less threatened, it does not fix the problem.

There are potentially two other men out there who were involved in the groping of a female student.

Women at Loyola still have the right to be fearful.

The fact that one man is in custody does not mean that there aren’t other individuals out there who could grope or attack us outside of our residence halls.

This issue goes beyond finding one man; it entails making sure that our campus is completely safe.

Campus Safety fails to recognize that these crimes can be committed by Loyola students.

The men involved in the recent incidents are described as being in their 20s, the age of many Loyola students.

Our officers need to start thinking of all individuals as equal, whether they’re students or outsiders passing through Rogers Park.

On Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m., Campus Safety will hold a Student Safety Forum in the Damen Den.

This forum will allow students a chance to speak their concerns and discuss the latest events that have happened on our campus.

Discussion is a great feature of Loyola’s campus, but this doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a change.

All I know is that I am sick of being told to be safe. Instead of telling women to be careful, I think our officers need to start brainstorming how exactly they can make sure sexual assaults and sexual abuse happens to no one.

I believe this involves more than arresting one man. We need more patrols in dimly lit areas of campus, such as Kenmore Avenue, Winthrop Avenue and West Loyola Avenue.

Not only will such action promote safety in these areas, but it can also save another student from being abused on the Lake Shore campus.

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