Wesley Baucom - Opinions Editor
In case you haven’t been paying attention to the UMSL alerts, there’s been a few reported instances of crime here on UMSL campus just within the first few weeks of school. All of the events that have come forward have been dealt with, more or less, and some are still ongoing investigations. Even still, if you’re a tuition paying UMSL student you have every right to be concerned with safety on UMSL campus. No student, or even faculty, should have to wander these tall brick buildings or the sleek rec center on the edge of insecurity or fear. UMSL should be safe, and with these recent events, it’s understandable for some concern to be raised.
Here’s just a few of the related incidents from the UMSL reports: A weapon was brandished at the rec center. From what I hear it was during a basketball game gone wrong, and the suspect quickly fled. What kind of sore loser flashes a gun during a basketball game anyway? It’s not March madness quite yet. Regardless, the second reported incident was on January 30th, and it was an armed robbery on South Campus, presumably near the dormitories, but the other details are unknown at this time. What we do know however, is that the suspects were apprehended and are waiting on prosecution. I recently had the privilege of speaking with a Lieutenant at UMSL PD, and the case is being taken to court at this time. So things seem to be in the clear for the time being.
At the same time, it’s no surprise that UMSL would face a little bit of crime here and there. The Normandy area is another hotbed of crime in St. Louis, so it makes sense for some of it to trickle on over. In fact, there were 27 violent crimes reported last year in the Normandy area according to STLToday. Despite this UMSL should still remain safe. No amount of crime or wrongdoing should jeopardize the people here. So long as the campus police and local law enforcement does it’s job, we all should be somewhat worry free.
In any case, with all that’s been going on in these fleeting weeks, what’s the best course of action? It’s this reporter’s opinion that we should have nothing to worry about. The crimes committed here pale in comparison when you look at other campuses in the city. SLU, being downtown, is a clear example of this. However, it’s important to remain alert, vigilant, and to report any suspected activity to the Campus police and let them do their jobs. Even while most activity occurs during the brightness of the day, be careful when treading in the bleak night, and keep a watchful eye on all of your surroundings, and belongings. These past few weeks have been hectic for everyone, and it’s hard to keep bustling only to divert extra energy to anything else, but personal security should always be your first concern. So watch out for the unexpected, but still keep a sense of your own peace of mind, knowing that things will be as safe as they’ve always been.