Is light side becoming more dangerous?

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Tallie Dameron

This semester, Radford students have received a few emails about aggravated assaults on the light side. I am a senior at Radford University this year, and when I was a freshman, I feel like this wasn’t as common. I think more students are living on light side than ever before and it is still growing.

The first aggravated assault was a stabbing that happened at a house party on Lawrence Street of light side on Sept. 23. Three people were stabbed and taken to the Carilion New River Valley Medical Center. Two of the students suffered serious injuries but ended up in excellent condition and are on the path to recovery. The individual who was charged with the crimes is a Radford student and was taken to the New River Valley Jail.

The second aggravated assault was also a stabbing that happened on light side in the gravel lot on Oct. 21. The victim had a hand laceration from a knife and was not a student at Radford. There weren’t as many details on this stabbing, but the victim is in good shape.

Last year, I remembered getting multiple emails warning students about sexual assaults happening on Radford’s campus and light side. In the emails we have received, there are reminders to stay alert and walk in groups. In my opinion, it’s scary that these incidents have been happening and that we have to get warnings from our school. Every time I received the emails, my stomach was uneasy. Students are always walking around on light side on weekends, so it’s frightening to know that stabbings are happening around us.

The question of whether light side is becoming more dangerous is a worrisome one for students and the community as a whole. According to Radford University’s website, the university enrollment has increased yearly since fall 2009 for a total of 1,050 students. I think that as the population increases, the chance of crime increases. A light side is a favorite place for Radford students to live and in my opinion, it’s still growing.

It’s clear that some students have been worried about the recent emails we have been receiving. “I was a freshman at Radford in 2013, and I feel like there weren’t as many crimes then. I felt a lot safer walking around the streets, especially at later times of the night. Now I feel like you shouldn’t walk home alone at night,” David Spitz, senior at Radford, said.

For the sake of the community and Radford students, hopefully, the crimes happening on light side are not a sign that it is becoming more dangerous. I hope that Radford University can continue to grow without the fear of crime. Like the emails warned, people should walk in groups and stay aware of their surroundings.