The Bubble is Not Bulletproof
As a quick glance at the front page should tell you, Oberlin students have recently been shocked into realizing just how vulnerable they are. The violent acts toward students this past week are only the most recent in a semester laden with such unfortunate occurences.
We would like to suggest that the responsibility of shielding students from violence does not lie solely with Safety and Security or the College; it also lies with the students themselves. It seems that many students, whether from big cities or sprawling suburbs, take for granted the tranquil appearance of Oberlin. This may be a small town without skyscrapers, but that does not mean students should let down their guard. Students should be aware of potential dangers and protect themselves accordingly.
Break-ins do occur within College housing; numerous thefts have accumulated over this semester alone. Only two years ago a man trespassed into a number of female College students’ apartments while the women were sleeping. And off-campus Monday, a group of students were shot at.
Yes, Oberlin is a relatively peaceful town full of positive aspects and events, but we as students are still responsible for our health and safety. Walking alone at night is never a good idea. Always carry mace or pepper spray and make sure a friend or roommate is aware of where you are. Avoid dimly-lit or confined spaces, especially if you see strangers hanging around. Make sure to lock your doors — and windows and that your doors and windows can actually lock. These are all simple steps to minimize the risk of falling victim to crimes when one should be enjoying the experience of a liberal college like Oberlin.
But alone, these measures may not be enough. The College should also consider more active programming to inform students of options to increase safety in response to the growing amount of crimes, or at least openly discuss the nature of crimes that are affecting our community.
It is unfortunate that it has taken these recent acts of violence for the
community of students to become aware of their need to protect themselves.
Still, it is a need that must be addressed. Those who do not exercise common
sense should not be surprised when they find their safety jeopardized.