As crime rates rise, what should LSU students do to feel safe?
Baton Rouge is no stranger to crime, with a crime rate of 57 per 1,000 residents according to the analytics company, Neighborhood Scout. To put that into perspective, that is about 2,050 documented crimes for the entire student body of LSU.
When looking at a map, one will notice that Louisiana State University sits right in between two areas with especially high crime rates. In 2019, “LSU reported 207 safety related incidents involving students.” This should come as no surprise, since LSU students are constantly receiving emails about stolen goods or violent acts on or near LSU property.
The severity of the crimes in these notifications, however, is beginning to escalate. Just a few weeks ago, every LSU student received an email of a shooting at the Ion Apartment Complex, located across the street from the West Campus Apartments and the Beach Volleyball lot.
The escalation is not only restricted to the immediate surroundings of our campus. In February, a shooting at the Mall of Louisiana took place, leaving two people dead. Various national news outlets have reported on this increase in local homicides, bringing the severe issue to light.
But what safety measures is LSU taking to make campus safer? Of course, Louisiana State University cannot control what precautionary measures off campus apartment complexes take. However, there are several precautions LSU has taken, and still can take, to keep the grounds safe.
Some of these precautions include self-defense classes offered at the UREC and various hotlines to call after an accident. Although these measures are a strong start, many students feel more preventative measures may need to be enacted as well rather than just remedial.
One important area that LSU could focus on would be making students feel safer when walking through campus at night. A program many students have voiced their preference for enacting is the “Blue Light System,” where alarms would be placed throughout campus for students to access if they felt they were in danger.
These alarms would alert campus police and send them to the student immediately.
Although some argue this would not be the most efficient option, and that it could be misused, many people feel it is an important feature the school should incorporate to create a safer campus for Louisiana State University Students.
Nonetheless, students should always be acutely aware of their surroundings and continue to voice their concerns over their safety to the administration to enact change.