Statistics don’t matter when it comes to safety

Jake Tapley

In last week’s issue, an article regarding campus safety made the front page.

In this article, it was reported that some students – particularly RA’s and SGA members – had addressed a feeling of unease toward the lack of emergency poles on campus, especially in the parking lots of O’Daniel South.

This legitimate sentiment was met with a fairly standard response of recycled logic from administration – that these devices were rarely if ever used by students, let alone anyone.

I understand this argument fundamentally.

If I lived in the same residence for years and never had any type of crime incident, I would never invest in any kind of preventative security measures. I would assume that either what I had been doing was working fine or that there wasn’t a need for anything more.

But that’s just me and how I handle things.

That’s what the university has to understand: it’s their job to tend to and meet the needs of all of the students here.

You can’t approach this type of situation statistically because it isn’t exactly fair to the people who wouldn’t take that approach, not to mention the fact that statistics don’t really account for isolated incidents.

All it takes is for one crime to go unnoticed, and the idea of public safety will have become a façade. The university will have failed.

Last week, I received several USI Rave Alerts about a crime report of some incident that happened on the USI Burdette Trail, which goes to show that crime isn’t simply something that avoids our campus, as the administration would allow us to believe.

Even if the emergency poles haven’t been used, that doesn’t necessarily mean there haven’t been opportunities where they could have been used.

We need to take these opportunities, these possibilities, to heart.

And maybe, just maybe, we need to take more preventative measures on campus. We need to install more of these emergency poles in places where they are scarce.

If an emergency were to happen right now, there wouldn’t be time to locate one of the rarely used devices, and the statistics wouldn’t matter.