In light of recent incidents, including the cross burning and at least one account of on-campus rape, it is passed time to review Furman’s open campus policy. Especially late at night, Furman’s open campus becomes a question, not just of safety, but of the underlying purpose of Furman’s facilities.
Safety of students is the number one concern of a university. When there is a crisis on a university campus it affects everyone in one way or another. An attack or theft does not just cause fear for the students involved, but also his or her roommates, hallmates, friends, and even complete strangers on campus who hear the story. Hearing about rape or another violent crime is enough to make any student scared to walk back to their room late at night.
It is not just a safety issue. There have been a rising number of thefts on campus ranging from bicycles to personal items out of cars.
If campus were closed at night, the possibility of crime after a certain hour diminishes. Although there is no such thing as a crime-free campus, we can regulate crime if we know it is coming from our students.
Furman encourages involvement with the community by inviting locals to events on campus. However, Furman’s main priority should be the students’ safety. Our campus may be a beautiful park in the daytime, but there is no reason non-Furman students and personnel should be on campus at night without being explicitly invited.
There is no justification for college students to feel unsafe in their own college campus. With a four year and $50+ grand financial commitment to the school, students should be given the right of safety and peace of mind by closing Furman’s campus gates at night.