Theft reveals need for security, crime prevention, student awareness
Mount Mary College is an urban campus, but in the minds of many who attend and work at the school, there is a sense of complacency and false sense of “nothing bad happens here.”
In December, two TVs were stolen from the commons area in Caroline Hall. Residents thought they were Mount Mary employees when they saw the thieves unplugging and hoisting the TVs onto a cart. Residents were each charged about $11 for the replacement costs. We think this is unfair. Not only should the students be held responsible for the incident, but so should security and staff.
Carroll University, for instance, has between 200-300 residents with card access, security who patrol the residency halls and secured equipment in their commons areas. Mount Mary has about 130 residents with keys instead of access cards, security who don’t patrol the residency hall and unsecured equipment. Our situation invites theft unless staff, security and students take proper precautions. Carroll University has taken steps to ensure that its property is not stolen and, as a result, they still have TVs.
To charge our resident students because of this theft is nothing more than a quick fix, even though students had signed a form agreeing to this policy.
Complacency on the part of staff, security and students contributed to the circumstances that made this theft so easy. The school’s failure to secure equipment or have security officers patrolling the residence hall puts everyone equally at fault and at risk. The students who failed to question or report the assailants are not solely responsible, and they should not have been the only ones charged to replace the TVs.
Paul Leshok, director of public safety, recognizes that the students aren’t the only ones who are complacent about safety on campus. He said, “Staff is just as complacent,” he said. “We get lulled into that sense that we’re immune from any problems, and we’re not.” Mount Mary is and has always been a relatively incident-free, safe campus.
Security measures are now in place to secure the replacement TVs. But for the future, other precautions are advised. Students need to be more aware of their surroundings and report anything that seems out of the ordinary or suspicious, according to Leshok, and Arches completely agrees.
Staff and security must also forgo complacency. Equipment should be secured from the start, especially if everyone has access to it. Security should patrol the residence hall on a regular basis. We are not saying this will solve crime on campus completely, but it will make people think twice before committing a crime that was just too easy to commit in the first place.