Recently, The Star Ledger’s Kelly Heyboer published an article, about a new initiative established by Rutgers University-Newark campus to alert students of crimes that occur in areas surrounding the campus as well as the areas most frequented by students, such as train stations and subway stations throughout Newark.
The New Brunswick campus also began to include alerts for crimes occurring outside of the campus community. This action was taken in response to the criticism the university had received for the way they handled the death of former student William McCaw, who was found beaten to death on February 15th. School officials did not alert students of this crime due to the fact that it occurred outside of the campus and therefore deemed irrelevant for the student population. However, many students took to signing an online petition forcing officials to change the manner in which they handle crimes outside the campus perimeter.
The decision to implement crime alerts for crimes around the campus grounds and in areas that students spend the most time is one that should have been done years ago. To be honest, all colleges and universities across the nation should alert their students of crimes in as well as around their campuses. Students attending a university are not only part of their campuses, they also become residents of their host cities. These students utilized the power and influence that they have and made their voices heard in order to push for a change and succeeded. They demand to be made aware when crimes are committed so that they can better exercise caution and take protective measures.
When examining the major increases in the crime statistics in or near college communities, this raises some issues with school administration and school culture. How can school administrators create a safe, and effective school culture in the midst of the war on crime in these urban cities, specifically Newark?
Arlene Hernandez serves as a Contributor Lead and Social Media Lead at The Gem Project, Inc. Hernandez is in her final year at Rutgers University studying English. She resides in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter at @ArleneH1991.
Edited by Deja Jones, M.Ed, Director of Communications. Follow her on Twitter at @Simply_Dej.