Campus Security should increase patrolling due to recent Assaults

Olivia Bachar

Emergency buttons are all over campus. 
Photo: Emma Cottrell

Illinois Wesleyan is supposed to be known as a safer campus compared to other neighboring colleges, however this has not been the case. Several students, all women, have been followed and assaulted on campus. At least two of these incidents have happened near the first year residence hall Dolan, located near the Shirk Center. 

Traditionally, Dolan hall held upperclassmen but this year it was converted into a first-year residence hall, where 26 female-identifying students reside. I polled several of these students and a common answer was said; security is seemingly only being seen near the residence hall in the morning and afternoon, but not at all during the evening/night time. 

Several of these students, including myself, work the evening shifts for our on-campus jobs, typically until 9 or 10 pm at night. I have not seen any security officers or the security car near Dolan since early September, when one of the initial incidents occurred. It is not enough, nor does it make sense. Why would security officers only be patrolling in the earlier hours, when incidents are happening during later hours of the evening? 

Sure, security officers have other responsibilities, such as responding to marijuana infractions and fire alarms going off, that is part of their jobs. However, with the increase of assaults happening to women on our campus, this should be a priority. Especially with Dolan housing first-year students for the first time ever. 

“Why would security officers only be patrolling in the earlier hours, when incidents are happening during later hours of the evening?” 

Typically, first year students are housed in Ferguson, Munsell and Gulick. Both Ferguson and Munsell are directly connected to the Memorial Center, which houses the Titan security office, through a set of large, enclosed walkways. The entrance to Gulick is located only about 75 feet away from the Titan security office entrance. 

Anybody, first-year or not, can be assaulted. However, upperclassmen are more likely to have cars to get around, as well as know the campus and what areas are more “public.” First- years are less likely to have these advantages. It is for these reasons that the traditional first-year residence halls are located so close to the main quad, and the Titan security office. It is the opposite for Dolan, which sits “kitty-corner,” or diagonally opposite, to the very public streets of Emerson and Franklin, on the edge of campus. It is one of the farthest dorms from the Titan Security Office. 

IWU security needs to be patrolling or at least checking in during the evening hours near Dolan, not just the morning or afternoon. The campus here is not very large, to walk around the entire campus would not take more than 10-15 minutes. So if there was an incident, security would be able to arrive quickly. 

However, the idea is to prevent incidents from happening in the first place. To accomplish this, there needs to be night time security patrolling near Dolan. Especially with the first semester soon coming to a close, these security measures need to be put into place now,  so that more incidents are further prevented during the upcoming colder and darker months of winter. Security needs to be prepared and keep everyone safe at night.