Opinion: University of Michigan students' safety doesn't end at campus limits
(AnnArbor.com reporter) Kyle Feldscher would have you believe that laptop safety is the only safety issue students at the University of Michigan care about. (Re: U-M police take questions from public at first in promised series of meetings) Mr. Feldscher seemed to have missed the entire discussion about the relationship between on campus and off campus safety- and the bothersome revelation that the University does not inform students as to off campus crimes that involve students.
It turns out that the Department of Public Safety deals solely with crimes that take place on campus property. If a student takes a single step off campus and becomes the victim of a crime, it is no longer the responsibility of the university to even so much as inform the student body as to what happened. Student safety, for reasons we do not understand, doesn’t transcend the campus. What results, is a false sense of security.
But the fact is, student security is not an on or off campus issue. Over 50 percent of University of Michigan students live off campus. Students study off campus, they eat and drink off campus, and they live off campus -- their world does not end where the physical campus ends. The campus police exist to protect students, so we are asking them to protect students by informing students.
If the University Police do not have the capacity to alert students of crimes that are occurring to students off campus, this needs to be clearly stated and students need to be aware that they are not receiving the full story. The campus police department should, at a minimum, keep statistics of crimes that happen to students in the Ann Arbor area and send this data to students on a regular basis.
University of Michigan students are concerned with big issues. They are concerned about their physical safety and want to hear the full story. Unless the University police commit to informing the student population about crimes as they happen to students, we will not be able to improve the state of safety on or off campus.
No one wants to have their laptop stolen, but there are other more pressing issues that were discussed at that meeting, including the fact that no student wants to feel unsafe where he or she lives, regardless of where that is.
Arielle Fleisher and Emily Greenberg