Thieves cause security unease

At least three students have been violated on Missouri Southern’s campus. They have lost their property and their sense of security.

In the past five weeks there have been three reports of students finding their cars with doors jammed open or broken windows. Thieves stole thousands of dollars in audio equipment, along with other belongings. All three incidents took place in Lot 25, behind the apartment residence halls.

Lot 25 is completely uncovered by security cameras.

Ken Kennedy, director of public safety attributed the absence of camera coverage to a lack of cable in that area.

“We have no fiber [cable] over there,” Kennedy said, “that’s what the system was based on.”

While Kennedy acknowledged the need for coverage and mentioned that it had been a subject of interest in the past, a large portion of space where students leave their cars, and where students walk, remains completely uncovered.

We understand that in a time of severe economic downturn costly projects are usually out of the question, but the safety of our students shouldn’t be about money. Luckily all that’s been lost are things, things can be replaced. But such a void in campus security cannot be ignored. DPS patrols campus, but they can’t be everywhere at once, and if something worse than a robbery were to happen in Lot 25, there would be no way of knowing until it was over.

“It makes me feel pretty unsafe,” said Isaac Kirkpatrick, one of the students who had his car broken into. Next year Kirkpatrick will start at Missouri State. He attributes the change largely to the break-in.

“Pretty much any holiday you don’t want to leave your car here because security isn’t going to watch it,” he said.

The blame lies not with security, but with the circumstances. While the prospect of getting cameras for Lot 25 is unlikely, we encourage the campus community to get involved in keeping everyone safer. Southern’s Greek community is always willing to volunteer its time. Maybe they could take the first step, working with security to establish a campus watch or similar program. Assigning blame won’t get back the thousands of dollars in stolen property, nor will it make students safer; but more security for our students is essential.

Until then, we run the risk if we park in Lot 25.