The Voice: SHU must take action to protect, inform students

In light of Nov. 16’s late night sexual assault of a female student as she attempted to leave the Walsh Library and Nov. 13’s assault and mugging of two females students across the street from campus on South Orange Ave., The Setonian believes Seton Hall must take definitive and clear action to inform students of the steps it is taking to provide for their safety.

The University has a significantly limited ability to protect students while they are off-campus, and The Setonian both recognizes and understands this. However, we believe the University has let the prominence of off-campus crime lull itself into a false sense of security about crimes committed on-campus. Granted, until Nov. 16’s sexual assault, most major crimes on the Seton Hall campus were the theft of often unattended personal belongings.

The very notion that even campus is no longer safe for students to walk from one point to another without an escort is a call for the University community to act in order to better protect itself. Public Safety can no longer justify their inaction by claiming that crimes against students have occurred off-campus and beyond their jurisdiction

The Department of Student Affairs and the Department of Public Safety and Security must present the University community with a clear and definitive plan about how it will work to prevent another serious crime from happening on-campus.

We believe that Public Safety should immediately increase patrols of, and lighting in parking lots, particularly the more remote ones, such as the F-lot near Ivy Hill Park. Seton Hall should also work to better monitor traffic of cars without Seton Hall parking credentials, even if it means checking that every car has a University issued parking pass as they enter campus. There is no reason Securitas could not record the make, model, license plate numbers and driver of all cars without a SHU parking permit.

Furthermore, the University must work with the Village of South Orange to take pro-active steps to prevent crimes against students, rather than just respond and react to them.

Students should take appropriate actions as well. Until the University can present a clear roadmap for how it proposes to prevent crimes on-campus, members of the community should travel with friends at night whenever possible or request a Securitas escort to accompany when friends are unavailable. We also suggest women consider participating in the University’s Rape Aggression Defense program.

Author: Staff Writer

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