Eyes wide open

We have reached a sort of midpoint to the semester, where winter break is a distant memory and spring break is a far-off mirage. We have also reached a point where many of my safety tips have been given out, but recent events have convinced me it’s worth reviewing some of them. So here goes.

For those of you who read the security alerts we send out—which should be all of you—you know that we had a robbery of a student on Murray Hill Road a few weeks back. Daytime robberies are rare, but it is proof that anything can happen anywhere, and you always need to be aware (not paranoid; aware) when you are out and about.

This also means getting involved in the safety of the area we are all invested in. In our latest incident, there is evidence that the robbers were scared off when it became apparent that others were observing them. While there are challenges to policing an urban campus, one of the advantages is that there are almost always lots of eyes around, and bad guys don’t like witnesses.

If you see something that looks like a robbery in progress or someone in distress, don’t try and play Batman yourself but absolutely grab your phone and call the police, give them a location and a description of what’s going on and let them do their thing. We need everyone’s help if we are going to keep this area as safe as possible.

Additionally, continue to use services like shuttle buses and Safe Ride when moving around at night. If you are going to play basketball or run on a track, don’t bring your wallet and leave it courtside/trackside, especially with cash in it. It only takes a few seconds of inattention to have it vanish. And don’t leave cell phones or tablets unattended, especially in places like restaurants or eating areas. They can vanish in the time it takes to get more mustard for your hot dog.

Let’s look out for each other.