How to keep crime out of campus cloisters
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SURE provides either one male or two female escorts to accompany students to their destination at night - on foot, by bicycle, or in a newly purchased golf cart that zips regularly between the two main libraries on campus.Skip to next paragraph
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The increase of attacks on women at colleges and universities has resulted in rape crisis centers, escort services such as SURE, and 24-hour dormitory security guards becoming a standard part of campus life.
Other crime prevention measures include:
* At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, mobile closed-circuit TVs are set up in problem areas, such as a parking deck and a 24-hour banking machine. And, says the IACLEA's Mr. Hudson, who is security director there, ''We believe a high police profile is one of the best crime deterrents.'' So campus cops there wear police uniforms and drive marked cruisers.
* A number of campuses hire students to serve as supplemental or auxiliary police to scout out parking lots and deserted campus buildings. At South Carolina's Clemson University, for example, a student police force frees regular officers from routine parking ticket-writing.
* Operation Identification encourages people to engrave their valuables with their driver's license or social security number to discourage would-be thieves. The program, widespread in nonacademic communities as well, became quite popular on the Stanford campus after police caught a burglar with $2.5 million worth of stolen property from more than 300 burglaries.
* At the University of Maryland in College Park, a $1.7 million high-intensity lighting project is due to be completed in April 1984. The university also closes off eight of its 12 entrances at night. Student auxiliary police man the gates to check the identification and destination of entering cars.
The college also provides a shuttle bus service from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Then it becomes a call-a-ride service, a free door-to-door taxi service for students. Maryland dorms have a two-barrier system: a first set of locks on the outside door, and a second set on the elevators and stairs. The university is also removing bushes and shrubs from possible problem areas.
As budgets shrivel, campus police are coming up with ways to involve students in the fight against campus crime. One approach is the PAW (People Are Watching) program at Clemson University. Keyed to the school's tiger mascot, the aim of the PAW program is to make students a sort of supplemental police.
''With tight financial resources, we've got to rely more on the people that we're serving to help us,'' says Jack Ferguson, Clemson's director of public safety.
At the University of Santa Clara, there is only an unarmed safety force. But Mr. Moore, the vice-president, says the school has set out to solve its vandalism problem by spending some $450,000 to repair vandalized dormitories. Since then, he says, there has been a 39 percent drop in repair costs. The idea is to offer a well-maintained residence that students will want to take care of ''like they take care of their own homes,'' Moore said.
During the wave of unrest on college campuses during the 1960s and early 1970 s, colleges found they could not meet the problems alone, according to James McGovern. But ''bringing in outside officers didn't help much - it only brought confrontation. The colleges and universities realized they needed their own in-house law enforcement.'' Many campus police now train alongside their metropolitan counterparts at police academies, and wear uniforms and guns.
During the 1970s, many students stopped viewing campus police as the enemy and started seeing them as allies in their push to shore up security. That quest is as important to college administrators as it is to students. A college's image is important in recruiting students, and part of that image is safety on campus. With that in mind, administrators are taking campus security a lot more seriously.
But as university budgets tighten, sadly security is often the first item to be cut.
''When economic times get tough, there is a greater turn toward crime, but (crime control and prevention) is a frequent first place to look to trim a budget,'' says Hudson.