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Friday, September 29, 2023


Guest Commentary: Campus safety should be top priority

In the last four years, UH has not seen significant changes in the number of crimes committed on campus. Although the University believes new buses are necessary, the money should instead be used to help pay for improvements in security.

There are a few new cameras all over campus but is that really enough? Can a few people in the surveillance room keep track of all the events taking place? The new cameras are placed in areas of heavy traffic. This means areas less frequently traveled could be more dangerous since cameras are not present in those areas. The UH Police Department does not patrol the campus frequently enough or in the numbers needed to properly protect students, faculty and visitors. In the best interest of the students and staff, UH should display top security as much as possible.

The recent shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University caused many to question the safety of their learning environment. As a result of these unfortunate events, college campuses across the country are reevaluating their level of security. Like many other universities, UH has had its share of crime and mishaps in the last several years and students are now taking the initiative and voicing their concerns. There are even plans to install a campus-wide security system that would alert students and staff of danger on campus, and therefore allow a greater number of people to react and flee the area in a timely and safe manner.

After taking into consideration the type of violence and crimes that have occurred on campus and at other universities, many campuses are upgrading their security standards to increase the safety of all students and staff on campus. The new and increased security measures, although drastic, could potentially raise the safety of many people at college campuses. However, these new measures could have some people complaining because with new and improved technology comes a price tag.

These improvements could raise the total cost of tuition, but can a person really place a price tag on security? Is a little extra money not worth investing in the lives of the students and faculty on campus?

Some of the policies enforced are locking all building and dormitory doors during the day, which require students to use their student identification cards to gain access via card swipe. Campuses are also implementing a notification system that sends out text messages and automated phone calls informing students of an emergency on campus. Though not implemented yet, many universities are considering adding speakers and loud-systems inside and outside campus buildings as another tool to inform students and staff of emergencies.

Danger can attack unexpectedly day or night, but danger at night is a particular concern for many students on campus. Realistically, a policeman cannot be stationed at every corner of the streets that surround the University all day or all night, but if the University were to increase the amount of policemen the level of comfort would rise. Students who don’t commute and live on campus in the dorms have even more reason to be concerned about security, particularly at night. Increasing technology is by no means cheap, but should be considered a good investment if it makes more students and staff feel at ease on campus.

Once security is enhanced it would relieve much stress and concern from many students and ultimately deter predators from visiting UH. Higher security unfortunately comes at a price, but one worth paying if it prevents the loss of lives. By attending UH, students are taking a vested interest in their futures. The University should return the favor by doing all that is possible to ensure students’ and faculty members’ safety.

Jake Ferrer, Gilberto Lopez, Jennifer Villela, Sahar Hadwan and Ogechi Nwagwu, students from English 1304, contributed to this column. They can be reached via [email protected]

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