I do not think the Radford University Police Department is doing an adequate job of protecting female students. This has nothing do with available resources.
Yes, Radford is a reasonably safe town with a rather low crime rate, as mentioned in a previous article, “Walking Home Alone at Night.” In fact, it has recently gotten even safer, at least at first glance.
The RUPD has installed more emergency phones on campus in response to an increased number of complaints from students who feel unsafe walking home alone at night.
Yes, the RUPD does offer a “safe ride program” to drive or walk people home if they feel unsafe, but none of the simple solutions provided address the issues that lead women to feel unsafe while walking home alone at night.
The “safe ride program” often requires those who use it to wait 30 minutes to an hour in order to be picked up and taken home. I tried it during my first year at Radford University, when I was living in Greenhill.
It can take up to 15 minutes to walk to Highland Village from campus and 10 minutes to walk to the BB&T on East Main Street.
Given that most people who call the “safe ride program” aren’t waiting in a classroom, it might actually be safer to walk home than it is to utilize the RUPD’s program.
The RUPD response time is similarly inefficient. It takes 20 minutes or so for a police officer to get to the scene of a crime or an emergency, according to the averages I’ve compiled from my own accounts and from friends.
The RUPD has built more emergency phone towers around campus, but I would say that most students don’t have a problem with getting in touch with the police during an emergency.
Carrying around a cell phone is a lot more efficient than finding your way to an emergency phone. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t own a cell phone. It seems like the RUPD installed those phones as a cheap attempt at a solution, wasting money to provide the appearance of safety to people who should be smart enough to see through it.
Obviously there was enough of a problem for the RUPD to spend (or waste) money on the new phones. If this is the case, why is the RUPD wasting money, time and resources on party busts?
I realize plenty of people are harmed at parties or walking home from them. However, during my time at RU, three of my bikes have been stolen while they were locked up with a bike lock and I’ve heard about multiple assaults on campus from my friends and the emails we receive from the university.
Why is the RUPD cracking down so tightly on parties when they’re obviously stretching themselves too thin to deal with actual crimes? Virginia Tech has parties. Harvard has parties.
Plenty of good, reputable schools have parties. I understand that RU has a reputation for being a “party school,” and I understand that crimes often happen on common party days, but I would argue that the RUPD is focusing on the wrong problems, and are unable to deal with the more pertinent crimes.
Is RU trying to better its reputation by cracking down on the parties it is known for rather than caring for the students? If so, it wouldn’t be the first time. There have been many incidences in the past where it is clear that the university seems to put more money into appearances and profitable majors than it does into the actual student body.
RU is a fantastic school, but that is mostly due to the underpaid and overworked professors who often go above and beyond the call of duty to help a student who needs assistance.
RU is safer than a lot of schools. However, they have a responsibility to make us feel safe while we’re here, and they are failing at it. The parties are a problem, but I also have to wonder—when are we going to be prioritized over profits and cheap solutions?