Molly Gray / Lantern editor
You have two midterms tomorrow. Your house is full of loud roommates enjoying their study-free night. Your neighbors have begun with their festivities for the evening. The sounds of sirens echo throughout the neighborhood. Needless to say, it is impossible to study in your house. So, you decide to head to the Science and Engineering Library, Ohio State’s 24-hour library. But before you head out, you think of the three armed robberies that took place in the span of a week, one of which occurred just steps from your front door. You decide to play it safe and study in your home, of which most of your time is spent rereading passages due to the constant distractions.
This is the typical dilemma a student faces at OSU.
With three armed robberies transpiring within six days, it is safe to say that OSU is unsafe. No pun intended.
On Oct. 30, on the corner of 10th Avenue and Worthington Street, a man was stripped of all his property while having a gun pointed at his head. Four days later, on 17th Avenue and Pearl Street, another man was held-up at gunpoint, while other suspects patted him down for any valuables. Then, two days later in an alley near Norwich Avenue and Waldeck, a man flaunting a black handgun demanded that a woman hand over her money.
All of these robberies occurred within close proximity to each other and two things are constant: OSU students were the victims of robberies at gunpoint, and the robberies took place on or near the campus-area.
There seems to be an epidemic of violent robberies sweeping through the areas around OSU and it’s only getting worse. But why?
Because it is too easy.
Walk around the local off-campus neighborhoods, and you won’t spot more than one or two Columbus police cars patrolling the area. In fact, through my own observations, within a three-day period, I did not spot one patrol car driving down my street, a street that fell victim to one of these robberies. But, walk into SEL and you will find several OSU security guards monitoring the facility. And, if it’s after hours, you have already had to swipe your BuckID to gain access. If you find yourself studying in SEL between the hours of 11:30pm and 8:00am, you will be asked to present your BuckID several times by the patrolling guards.
But what seems more important? Monitoring the library for students with an ID or monitoring the streets within a mile of that library for armed robbers?
The locations of these robberies prove where the real danger is. And it is evident that robbers have taken advantage of the lack of neighborhood security. While robbers may not know there are several security guards monitoring the library, they do not know that there are none patrolling the streets.
While the exact budget for public safety is not made public, the university brought in $833 million in student fees during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the OSU statistical summary website. What exactly are these fees going toward? Obviously, not adequate safety measures. Is it because the university does not have enough funding or just because they have not budgeted correctly?
Although students already pay a significant amount to attend Ohio State, I am positive that they would not mind paying a little more to ensure they would not be held up at gunpoint on their way to the library. I know I wouldn’t mind.
So what’s it going to take for OSU to enforce more security? Hopefully it won’t take something more tragic like the kidnapping or murder of a student.