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Features Last Updated: Oct 18th, 2006 - 15:39:27


Staying safe on campus
By Taylor Nikolaus
Oct 18, 2006, 15:38

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Students take risks just going to school, and having an open campus makes it hard to tell the difference between who is a supposed to be here, and who is not. Police Officer Joel Workinger tells students that on an open campus, “people are free to come and go as often as they please. This is a high drug traffic area; people will slit your wrists for a dime.”
One Seattle Central student, Shelly English, said she “would feel safer if there was easier access to information regarding sexual predators.” The worries over sexual assaults and other acts of violence are things any open campus deals with. Informing students who attend school on an open campus is useful – and often can aid in reducing the number of assaults.
Alongside physical safety is the automobile safety. This year there were three hit-and-run accidents around the school campus. Between February and March two cars were stolen, and two others broken into.
Theft is widely considered to be the biggest problem within the city of Seattle. The most prevalent type of theft is auto theft.
In the month of August alone, there were 2,219 cases of theft.
There has only been one incident on campus involving a gun. It was a year and a half ago, when a man waved a gun around inside the hallways. The man carrying the gun was arrested by the Seattle Police Department. No one was hurt in the situation. Workinger is unaware of any other gun-related crime in the past five years that he has worked at Seattle Central.
There are steps students can take toward making Seattle Central a safer environment. Students can help raise awareness that Seattle Central needs more policemen on campus to help cut down on the risk of negative occurrences. Workinger stated that the Campus Public Safety “really depends on the staff and students to be the eyes and ears.” Workinger also stated, “we would love to have triple the amount of officers.” Since there aren’t enough policemen to patrol the school, it is ultimately up to the students to make the public safety office aware of suspicious activity.
There are also ways you can protect your belongings from theft or vandalism. For example, if you have a bike, lock it up with a Kryptonite lock, not a cable lock. Cable locks are easily cut and therefore make the bike more tempting to thieves. Campus police put notes on those bikes they see that are locked with cable locks as a warning.
In the past year Seattle Central’s parking garage has also been targeted by thieves. There are usually two or three cars stolen per year. To make your car less appealing to car thieves, hide anything valuable so that it is not easily seen from the window.
Students with cars shouldn’t only be aware of the dangers inside of school, but also of what happens outside on the streets and in parking garages.
Certain risks come with attending school on an open campus, but those who choose to take appropriate precautions for the safety of themselves and their belongings are not completely helpless.

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