Suspicious activity prompts heightened awareness

Jill Martin

With the evening weather becoming so nice, students find themselves more and more drawn to walking around the perimeter of campus instead of staying inside. Night walks can be a source of relief for many students, but they may be compromising students’ safety.

There are usually several students walking the outskirts of campus after dark, though rarely alone. Because of the recent suspicious activity reports, many students use the buddy system, which is what Dean Forster, chief of Washburn police, recommends at all times.

“No matter if it is day or night, no student should be alone,” said Forster.

There are 11 full-time working cameras around the interior of campus along with bicycle police constantly patrolling the campus. Freshman Joe Muiller says he always feels safe when in the interior of campus during his nightly evening stroll.

“I have never felt unsafe on the actual campus,” said Muiller. “I always see the Washburn police out and just feel as if everything is secure.”

Although Muiller may feel safe on campus, female nighttime walkers may feel different about how safe the campus really is.

“I know that the police are available whenever I need them,” said freshman Kilie West. “It is reassuring but I never like to go anywhere alone usually.”

Thursday, Oct. 24, Forster, along with people from other areas of campus, will conduct an annual campus walk-through. The walk will include all parts of campus where safety issues may arise. The group judges lighting, landscape arrangements and other items that may aid an attacker.

Forster also believes all students should have the campus police number in their cell phone, (785) 670-1153. Students can also contact Forster by e-mail at [email protected]

“If students see something that bothers them, they can shoot me an e-mail or a phone call,” said Forster.