University of Denver has recently cleared 2 reports of gunman threats on campus. Even though Campus Safety has declared these threats to be officially safe, DU students throughout campus still feel in danger.
On Thursday afternoon, May 7, 2015, DU Spokesman Will Jones received a call in a “computer-generated voice” around 3:30 pm. The computer-generated voice warned that there was a man dressed in all black and carrying an assault weapon with intentions to harm his girlfriend.
It later became uncovered that police investigators believed the calls were a possible case of swatting – a prank which involved video game players making false reports as jokes on one another.
According to The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28071423/du-tells-students-seek-shelter-after-man-reported, “The call’s computer-generated voice and threat toward a girlfriend are similar to swatting episodes at other campuses.” These swatting calls have been a reoccurring nuisance for local college campuses.
There was a second call on Thursday afternoon regarding the same individual wearing black attire and carrying an assault weapon. It turned out the gun was a hockey stick.
Even though these cases were investigated to the fullest and found to be benign, students still feel as if they are not fully safe on campus anymore. Senior student Anna Willis states, “I refuse to walk alone at night on campus. I constantly feel as if I’m being followed and it makes it hard to even be on campus at night anymore.”
Campus Safety does a good job of sending out tweets and texts regarding suspicious behavior, but they always come after a threatening incident has already happened. Two-year Officer Bailey states, “The students’ safety is our main concern, it is disheartening when attacks on students happen and we can’t do anything about it until after the event has taken place.”
It seems as though Campus Safety is unsure of how to move forward with protecting our campus, Bailey states, “We do our best to protect everyone, but obviously we can’t be in every alley protecting every single person at all times. Sometimes all we can do is wait for the call.”
A recent report of car theft was logged on July 5, 2015. Exterior car parts were reported to be stolen in parking Lot C on campus. Junior Brooke Boothe comments on the report, “I have a parking permit for that lot. Don’t they have cameras or something? It seems a little stupid that we pay so much to go to DU but they can’t even put up security cameras.”
Bailey reports, “We’re working on getting cameras but it’s not always easy trying to appeal something so expensive to the board.” When told about the car theft in the parking lot Willis responded with, “I don’t get it. Why do people keep committing these crimes all over campus? And why isn’t Campo doing anything about it?”
According to DU’s Campus Safety website, http://www.du.edu/campussafety/media/documents/currentcrimelog2015.pdf, assaults and criminal reports occur nearly every other day and sometimes even multiple days in a row.
The infamous University of Denver campus groper continues to raise some serious concerns. Numerous accounts of Campus Security Alerts in regards to a groper who accosts female students who walk alone. A specific alert from The Denver Channel says, “He grabbed her arm, and then forcibly fondled her groin.”
Boothe states, “I never feel safe walking home alone. Whether it’s during the day or at night. It’s very scary but it’s nice to receive the alerts from Campus Safety.” Students seem to be unaware of the Campus Safety Escort Program. Willis says, “I’ve never heard of that but it sounds good.”
The Campus Safety Escort Program is a program for students who don’t want to walk alone to and from classes so they have the option of having a safety escort by calling 303-871-2334. Students are also unaware that DU offers a 90-minute self-defense class.
Boothe says, “That’s all news to me. If I would’ve known I would’ve taken advantage of those opportunities sooner. It might help if Campus Safety would spread the word about that a little better and maybe our campus will be safer.”
In hopes of improving campus safety, Bailey has hopes of making a paper survey for students consisting of three questions: “How do you think Campus Safety could improve security on campus? Would you feel as if your privacy is being invaded if we put up security cameras around campus? Have you been to our 90-minute self-defense class?”
With countless attempts at protecting the University of Denver campus, Campus Safety continues to do their best to protect the students, but it seems as if their best fails to make students feels completely safe on their own campus.