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Monday, November 29, 2021

Crime

Students discuss staying safe on campus


Graphic of a woman clutching her tote bag while looking worried and walking at night.

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

As students start coming back to campus after over a year, safety remains a concern amongst the university community.

UH saw over thirty thefts and about eight cases of harassment over the summer as of Aug. 21. 

“Campus safety could definitely be improved,” said marketing senior Nina Joseph. “I mean the amount of people I know who have gotten their cars broken into in one year should not be that common.”

While not as common over the summer, UHPD reported eight burglaries of a vehicle.

Joseph added her friends that are UH students will often opt for garage parking, or lots closer to campus because of fear of their cars being broken into.

Although in 2013, the Third Ward was voted as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the U.S. UH’s crime rate is historically lower than other parts of the city. 

Students who have been on campus before the pandemic have simple tips and tricks they recommend for staying safe. 

“I would always recommend not to leave valuables in the car such as laptops and phones,” Joseph said. “Taking a cougar ride or asking for a security escort when walking at night has helped too.”

“I think newcomers can stay safe by looking around when you’re walking and not traveling alone at night. I’ve stayed safe on campus by just using my head,” psychology senior Samuel Osemwingie said. “When I need to leave late, I make sure I have a friend with me to walk to my car.”

“I think just a good rule of thumb is just like any campus, no matter what campus it is – especially as a girl – when you’re on campus after dark, it just helps to have somebody else around,” psychology senior Nili Patel said.

Patel adds planning your schedule ahead helps you avoid staying on campus alone too late.

“If you can, don’t take classes after 6 P.M. (and) try to be back at your dorm or car before the sun goes down,” Patel said. “I say visit your classes and get used to where they are so that you have a set path to take every day.” 

UHPD recommends reporting crimes as you see them occur, or when they happen to you. The staff is there 24 hours and seven days a week to assist, according to crime prevention coordinator Sergeant Dina Padovan. 

“UHPD responds to incidents on campus, therefore we recommend that you save our dispatch number in your phone,” Padovan said. “Our campus community works together to keep our campus safe, so if you see something, say something. We encourage you to report suspicious activity to our dispatch center.”

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