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University and Criminals Welcome Students
by Buckeyes For Concealed Carry on Campus
Each fall campus and the University District is awash with eager students, some new and some seasoned. Their arrival is a welcome event for everybody on campus and the University District. The University loves to see students come back. The businesses thrive in the presence of students. And the criminals see their victim pool restocked and react accordingly.
Sunday afternoon, Ohio State University Police issued a public safety notice via email. In the notice OSUPD list three armed robberies in the past week, one attempted and one resulting in injuries both off campus and an armed robbery on campus. Officials were quick to downplay the incidents of crime.
The Public Safety Notice reported that “While there is no direct indication that the crimes are related, they do suggest an ongoing concern for public safety in the University area.”
Columbus Police Sgt. Richard Weiner denied an uptick in crime on the students’ return.
Taylor Stepp, OSU USG President, expressed gratitude and excitement over new initiatives to come, saying he is “glad to say the university has been working with USG” on safety issues and he “think(s) you’ll see big safety announcements this year.”
Last year was a huge negative publicity debacle that the City of Columbus and the University both want to avoid.
The University was pro-active in its efforts to inform students of crime in the area. The Administration quickly discovered that the road to hell is paved with good intention. Crime alert after crime alert got the attention of the media. The situation was even reported by national outlets.
As a result, President Gee formed a task force to address safety concerns. The task force suggested several initiatives that were put into effect just after finals winter quarter 2011. The Buckeye Block Watch Program was the flagship of Gee’s autumn semester task force efforts. The Office of Student Life looked to the program to empower students to take an active responsive role for their safety. OSUPD also amended its operational agreement with Columbus PD enabling more police presence.
The university and the city of Columbus both have an interest in minimizing the negative press that could result from crime alerts required by federal law. The number of crime alerts is not as high as the number that resulted in last year’s negative publicity. But the picture painting a non-increase is far from true.
In only three days of classes, criminals have welcomed students back to campus with 32 violent crimes.
Since the beginning of welcome week on August 20, Columbus and Ohio State Police have filed reports on thirty-two violent crimes on campus and in the University District. The incidents of crime in the first week occurred at a rate nearly twice that of the last three months of autumn quarter 2011 when “there was a noticeable uptick” and 1.5 times that of October, the worst of the three months. While alerts and the public interest in them is down, crime is higher.
Sgt Weiner was correct in saying to the Lantern that “Every year when the students come back, you know, it’s a new cycle. We have fresh faces, you know, the freshmen come in and they’re coming from all different parts of the country, from rural areas as well, and they’re not used to the city crime, and the criminals know that as well,” Weiner said. “We have to educate them.”
Sgt Weiner acknowledges that criminals victimize students because they come to Ohio State with naivety. The university has been on an education blitz since last January. Dr Javaune Adams-Gaston, Vice President for Student Life, sent an email filled with safety tips to students just last Thursday. What he and the administration fail to acknowledge is that despite all of the education and preventative medicine, criminals still victimize students.
Criminals victimize students because they are defenseless.
Carrying a firearm onto Ohio’s college campuses is a felony. Possessing a firearm even when allowed by law is a violation of Ohio State’s student code of conduct and could result in expulsion. Law-abiding student licensees don’t carry firearms and criminals are free to carry out their business.
The charge to render students, faulty, and staff defenseless by Mayor Coleman and President Gee must be stopped. They are misrepresenting the truth to keep us quiet. When that doesn’t work, they rely on a law that needs to be changed and rules that need to be challenged.
You can help us and here’s how!
- Sign our petition – It’s easy and only takes a few seconds.
- Send a personal email – When you sign our petition, President Gordon Gee, Senator Kris Jordan, and Rep. Joe Uecker get an email. You can be more effective by sending a personal email to them.
- Contact your lawmakers – Phone, email, and write your lawmakers. Senator Jordan and Rep. Uecker are our potential sponsors. Your lawmakers are the votes.
- Make a donation to Students for Concealed Carry and email us your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can earmark for use in Ohio.
- Lastly, tell all of your friends about us, our petition, and our cause. Post on your Facebook. Post in forums you visit. Email your friends. Ask everyone to help us. Together, all Ohioans can restore our right to self-defense.