STAFF EDITORIAL: Security funding improving, but more still needed

The UH System Board of Regents believes campus security is an issue, but they haven’t made it enough of a priority.

The UH System Board of Regents announced its budget for fiscal year 2010, which includes $996.5 million for our campus. Only $400,000 of this will be devoted to campus security.

The distribution of this funding will be based on the UH Security Task Force’s suggestions.

To put this in perspective, $510,000 is going toward child care and $800,000 will be used toward a ‘branding’ campaign.

Security is listed under University Infrastructure and Administration, priority three of the campus budget. This is the same place where ‘deferred maintenance’ and ‘Gulf Freeway Annex’ are listed.

Priority one of the budget is student success, and should be where security is listed. It’s harder for students to succeed when they don’t feel comfortable on campus after dark.

Students will tell their friends and family if they are worried about safety. In turn, people will tell others that UH is not a safe place to earn a degree.

If our university wants a residential campus, it must protect students from criminals. This does not mean $400,000 worth of quick fixes, but a larger investment toward ensuring permanent safety.

But, it’s not as bad as it was a couple of years ago.

UH has cracked down on crime, as only 101 cases of larceny and theft have been reported this year. This is a respectable decline from the 136 reported last year.

We compliment the university for making an improvement upon the 2009 budget. Last year, UH allocated only $42,052 in new resources to campus security, and we didn’t have a task force assigned to confronting our issues with crime.

Despite these improvements, the University must strive for a safer atmosphere. If UH is going to become a flagship campus, it needs top-tier security.

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