DPS holds required safety session

This year the Department of Public Safety is taking an extra step toward student safety by offering a mandatory meeting for freshmen during Orientation week.

"Students do take precautions (to be safe), but they are not as concerned as they would have been ten years ago," said Sgt. Michael McNiel, who works in preventive services for DPS. McCormick Hall Director Heather Schroeder said one of the worst problems on campus is property theft, especially in the residence halls.

"The campus is very safe, but people don't think about locking their doors when they leave or sleep," Schroeder said. "Leaving your doors open leaves rooms susceptible."

McNiel said DPS is starting a program called "Home Safe Home," which will teach students how to guard their rooms against property thefts.

The concerns over property theft do not only affect dorms, however, and have spread to the John P. Raynor, S.J. and Memorial libraries.

Jay Kirk, the coordinator of collection development, said, "The library environment is fairly secure." However, with thousands of people having access to the library, Kirk said, the library was concerned that theft was "likely to happen."

To warn patrons who leave their belongings, the library leaves small red papers on the unattended items warning about the chances of theft.

For students who are going out at night, McNiel said, "there is absolutely no reason for anyone to walk by themselves at night." The system of 12 LIMOs– large vans that transport students around campus from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. every night– will take any student anywhere on or around campus.

McNeil said students used LIMOs frequently last year, and over 1,000 people were transported in LIMOs every day, with up to 2,000 people being transported on weekends. LIMO stops are at every residence hall–including the Hilton while freshmen are living there– and many other places on campus, including the Raynor and the Union Sports Annex.

Also, McNiel said, the Student Safety Patrols, composed of pairs of students wearing yellow jackets who walk other students around campus, is active from 5 p.m. to midnight every night.

Students can call for a LIMO or Safety Patrol at 288-6363 or can wait at a LIMO stop. The Blue Light phones around campus can also be used to call for a LIMO or Safety Patrol.

For those who are traveling off-campus, U-Pass can be used, McNiel said. Most bus routes are active from roughly 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.