EDITORIAL: Campus may be safe, but keep an eye out

The ISU Department of Public Safety released its campus crime report a couple of weeks ago, and it’s a document we think you should be aware of.

The report quantifies the crimes reported on campus in the last year, and makes a special distinction of geographic areas, including those reported in student residences. For reference, it also includes the numbers for 2004 and 2005.

Taken as a whole, the numbers in the report aren’t chilling. No murders and hate crimes have been reported. Only four aggravated assaults were reported.

The scariest statistic is the 10 reported forcible sex offenses – which doesn’t include any nonreported offenses or drunken “No . no . oh, whatever” incidents – and we certainly wish that were a smaller number.

Other facts given in the report are fascinating. Forty-two burglaries were reported in 2006, most of which occurred in the residence halls. That’s good to know – lock your doors.

Arson was reported 11 times, each one on campus. That’s frightening – were a fire to get out of control in a residence hall, because of the lack of respect for the dorm fire alarms, the consequences could be tragic. So don’t light fires. It’s not funny.

There were also 339 arrests on liquor law violations and an additional 540 referrals. That boils down to more than two per day for the entire year. Ouch. In light of the drunken antics so frequently pulled by college students, perhaps that number is even low – but it’s pathetic, for sure.

The report stems from national legislation that requires campuses to release crime statistics after the horrible rape and murder of Jeanne Clery on the Lehigh campus in the late ’80s. Before that, Lehigh had not released information on 38 violent crimes on its campus from the three previous years.

It’s good to be aware of the safety situation where you live. Here, we’re happy to say we are safe, and if we don’t feel like we are, DPS has a multitude of resources available for students. The DPS Police Division is staffed 24 hours a day, and if you feel unsafe on campus in the dark, you can get a safety escort from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Most of all, be sure to take care of yourself. Iowa State may have a safe campus, but it’s never safe to lull yourself with a false sense of security.