By Felicia Roehm
The recent reports of suspicious people coming to Rider and the concern of anyone being able to enter any academic building had created worry about the safety of students, faculty and staff.
There are many concerns among students, one of which is the lack of light when walking around at night. Some campus locations are dark and need street lights so students who may be walking back from a night class or from hanging out with friends can be aware of their surroundings. Although there are blue lights around for students to use in case of an emergency, they aren’t bright enough and are quite dirty.
A few places that need streetlights are the dormitories in the back of campus such as Conover, the bridge that goes over the lake and the pathway to Cranberry’s after crossing the bridge. Especially for people who take shortcuts and aren’t always walking on the pathways, there needs to be more light to see the surrounding areas and who else could be around them.
For dorms, students need an ID to get in, but students hold open doors for others without a second thought, especially if the person looks often like a college-aged student. Door propping is also an issue that the university is encouraging students to stop. Although everyone loves convenience, leaving a door open can lead to intruders or someone being followed into a building.
On Nov. 7, students were notified from Public Safety through email that someone followed two students into Lincoln Hall and was found on the third floor, but the “Lincoln Lurker” is merely one of the incidents that happened on campus. Students believe that issues like propping doors should be taken more seriously because, although it might not seem like a big deal, it allows anyone to come in and can put others in danger.
Students also feel that there isn’t a sense of urgency when it comes to safety. There have been alarm systems disarmed and doors broken that have yet to be fixed by the university.
Every student has the ability to see any records or information about crimes on campus, and that access was granted to students in 1990 when The Clery Act was passed by Congress. The Clery Act “requires public and private colleges and universities to disclose information about certain crimes that occur on or near campus,” and it came about because in 1986, Jeanne Clery was raped and murdered in her own dorm room.
Her parents helped pioneer The Clery Act in her memory, ensuring all students can know about the history of crime or suspicious behavior on or around college campuses.
Rider Public Safety is urging students, faculty and staff that “if you see something, say something.” Report any suspicious behavior or activities to Public Safety by calling 609-896-5029.