It’s always a good idea to expect the unexpected. In a college town, emergency situations can arise without anticipation at any time. In the past few weeks, UC Berkeley has faced a series of assaults and violent cases that bring out the dangerous side of campus.
Recently, there have been consecutive aggravated assaults near campus buildings and residential areas. Robberies have been reported near dormitory buildings. An incident of sexual assault at a campus sorority house was also reported. With these cases piling on top of each other, we want to bring light to the reality of college campus safety and the importance of staying vigilant.
Campus plays a critical role in ensuring student safety, especially for dangers that lie in proximity to campus. Campus has implemented certain alerts and emergency procedures for students to stay safe, such as WarnMe alerts and BearWalk services. It is hard for campus to be able to predict when an assault or incident will occur, but these resources to maintain safety should never fall in priority and should continuously be funded in order to be available and accessible to all students at any given time.
Given the current climate of community safety in Berkeley, above all, campus must maintain a high level of assurance toward its students. These incidents, while unpredictable, should not be tolerated and campus must rigorously work toward eliminating these issues. That can take the form of increased safety measures around campus, such as increased transparency in WarnMe alerts, or continuously educating students on how to stay safe at UC Berkeley.
Although they provide quick alerts when incidents arise, there is little information on the state of the situation in WarnMe alerts. In order for students to stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings, campus should work to provide more detailed descriptions of current issues so students can be better informed and prepared for whatever may occur.
Some ASUC candidates have been advocating for more measures to increase student safety. Although these candidates have made student safety an integral part of their campaigns, the efforts should not stop here. We must continue to put pressure on the ASUC and campus to pursue efforts to adequately prepare students for an emergency.
The issue with college safety is that it is a challenge campus communities continue to tackle over time. Here at UC Berkeley, we hope to emphasize the importance of school safety and how crucial it is to uphold a high standard of security measures. Students should feel safe on their campus, not afraid or on edge when they walk around at night. Despite the work already being done, there is always room for improvement to support student safety in all corners of campus.