By SHAWANDA HOLSEY
Living in the metro Atlanta area has become a very popular trend as people move closer to the city for various reasons.
In return, the crime rate has risen on the campuses of Georgia State Univeristy and Georgia Institute of Technology. Both have on-site police forces, but criminals continuously manipulate their way on campus. Which brings forth the question: Are closed or private campuses safer than open city campuses? Which is more appealing to a scholarly mind?
Crimes against students have increased in a rapid rate around metro Atlanta particularly so at two popular college campuses, GSU and Georgia Tech. Students have begun to speak out and express concerns about the senseless acts of violence and feel that more should be done to protect them.
Although more police officers have been assigned in the areas in which these crimes take place, criminals are still preying and stalking students and robbing them of valuables that are in most cases key to their academic success. These crimes have since left some students supporting the proposal of the right to bear arms while attending classes.
Although this proposal hasn’t been officially made a law, the fact that some students would want to carry a gun to class shows how serious they are about protecting themselves from becoming a victim.
According to the Georgia Tech Police Department, Georgia Tech has had a total of 63 crimes committed against students between January 2013 and 2014. They were also on the local news with more than 300 crimes reported in 2012. According to Ucrime.com, GSU has had 81 crimes committed from January 2013 and 2014 while Georgia Perimeter, another metro Atlanta college, has had 46 incidents from 2012 to January 2013.
“Safety is a big concern for me,” said Jasmine Thomas, a Georgia Tech student. “I’m constantly looking over my shoulder and worrying about those around me.”
“Let’s have undercover officers mix and mingle in with students in pedestrian clothing,” she said when asked about preventive methods that could improve the situation. “I feel officers will be more likely to catch a crime before it occurs.”
Students at GSU and Georgia Tech have noted that they have seen increases in patrol activity. With this increase, the police presence is known, however, crime rates have yet to drop which leaves parents and students concerned.
“As students, we have to also do our part and protect ourselves as well. Instead of being vulnerable victims it’s time for us to step up and not be afraid and protect ourselves,” Nakeeshia French, a student who attends GSU, said. She also supported the idea of students being allowed to carry concealed weapons on campuses to ensure safety.
Regardless of which campus students attend, they should do their part to ensure that they’re safe also. Students should be aware of their surroundings, don’t overly flash digital devices, park in well light areas, and keep valuables out of sight and their vehicle securely locked. Students should research campus crime thoroughly before attending a college, which have information and records readily available on campus or online.
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