Two of the most important feelings to have on a college campus are ones of safety and security. With the stress of midterms, essays, and work, students and faculty should not have to worry about their cars getting meddled with or walking in the parking lots at night. Unfortunately, Sonoma State University lacks functioning cameras in many of the parking lots and main spaces of campus. This, in turn, seems to have resulted in some issues that make Seawolves wonder how secure their campus really is.
Most recently, Sonoma State has had an issue with catalytic converters being stolen from cars in campus lots. Three separate theft reports regarding catalytic converters were reported on Fri., Aug. 23 through Sat., Aug. 24. In all three instances the car was a Toyota Prius. A Crime Prevention Information Bulletin email was sent Aug. 27 but for three days owners of Toyota Priuses were potentially unaware of the possible danger.
It is times like these where people begin to wish Sonoma State had cameras in more areas on campus. Without these eyes in the sky, there is little to deter thieves from stealing and finding the culprit is made more difficult. It would be helpful to have cameras in spaces where crime is most likely to happen
While the catalytic converter theft is concerning in and of itself, it is not just the catalytic converters that have been stolen.
A plethora of students have had unpleasant experiences ranging from clothes being stolen or moved from the laundry room to skateboards being taken from various locations. The parking lots are not the only places where cameras are needed, but in several spaces around the school. The university has too many blind spots for its own good, and theft is just one of a litany of potential problems that a lack of cameras may pose.
If a car bumps into another car in a school parking lot there are not many ways to hold the driver accountable. Students that have to walk home to their dorms don’t have the security of knowing there are cameras to disincentivize crime. Vandalizing other dorms is made easier by the fact that there are few cameras around village lots. Cameras may help discourage people from attempting illegal activity and act as a helpful resource in discovering who is committing the crimes that occur.
Camera use could be beneficial in solving crimes but that is not their only function. The device’s very presence gives students a better sense of wellbeing and hope. A camera may not stop a thief from stealing a car, but they can give a helpful clue that leads police to the perpetrator. Students could rest a little bit easier when they leave their cars alone that if something happens to their vehicles University Police have access to video that can help catch the person. The peace of mind that a camera brings could be a huge relief to students.
Universities are responsible for the safety of their students. An extra tool could be useful in preventing campus crime and give Seawolves a feeling of protection over their belongings and themselves. While the school lacks cameras around campus we will have to be even more careful with our personal possesions to ensure that there arent any unwelcomed surprises.