Editorial: Three times (not) a charm

One bank robbery in a single week is frightening. Three in a week is obscene. We’re certainly glad that none were physically injured, but, like so many other students at Case Western Reserve University, we questioned why the banks in University Circle didn’t immediately step up their security in the wake of the first robbery, or even the second.

We recognize that on an urban campus, there will always be challenges when it comes to security. However, the unusually frequent security incidents within days of each other is particularly worrisome since we expected to see increased security measures immediately after the first incident on Sunday, Oct. 10. Additionally, we question why the banks didn’t already have private security officers within their branches before the incidents occurred, although it is somewhat reassuring to see the security officers now at Charter One.

Despite these troubles, however, it was welcome news to find that, for once, multiple suspects had been positively identified and arrested. We commend the Cleveland, CWRU, and University Circle police departments for their work in making sure these thugs are taken off the streets and arrested for their crimes. Students want to be made aware of the fact that active cases are being pursued and arrests being made for these crimes, and in the future, additional e-mails from campus security notifying the CWRU community of arrests would be much appreciated.

As the campus expands further west to incorporate the Temple-Tifereth and the West Campus, and as classes continue to grow every year, we hope that CWRU security can keep up with the ever-increasing demands of our campus. First and foremost, additional Safe Ride vehicles are necessary. Although wait times have been cut down by using security vehicles and giving the program a separate phone number, getting a transport during high-frequency travel times like midterms or on the weekends still takes a better part of an hour. The program itself is truly a positive asset and should have its own dedicated vehicle fleet instead of relying on police and security personnel to shuttle students back and forth. The Safe Ride system, as well as the Greenie shuttles, seem like more secure option for student transportation than student safety escort services. Although it is always safer to walk with small groups, particularly at night, it seems unfair to task one undergraduate with the responsibility of protecting another.

It was also noted that this year, no personal safety devices were distributed for students. These keychains feature a light and a high, piercing alarm that students can trigger if they’re ever in a dangerous situation and need assistance immediately. While annoying when they go off inadvertently, these quick, attention-grabbing tool are a comfort to many students, and not publicizing their availability or choosing not to distribute them altogether is unfortunate.

Finally, students and other CWRU community members need to take an active responsibility in the security process. Never walk alone at night, don’t leave electronics or valuables unattended in public places, and be as aware as possible of your surroundings so that we can all make CWRU a little bit safer.