Tuesday, May 22, 2018

It’s time to reevaluate Trinity College’s open campus

MARINA PAPPAS ’19

STAFF WRITER

Recently, there have been many incidents involving local Hartford citizens verbally and physically harassing Trinity students on  campus, with the most recent event an attack on a close friend of mine.

This got me thinking about all of the other events that have happened this year. We have had catcalling, paintball shootings, someone being beat up at six o’clock in the evening coming out of Ferris, and multiple female students being harassed, and even physically assaulted.

What scares me about these situations is that they seem to be getting more aggressive as time goes on. At this moment in time, I cannot understand why the administration feels that it is a good idea to keep the Trinity College campus an open one.

Each time we get a Trinity Alert, I feel my heart jump because I wonder what else has happened on campus that I have to be aware of. So you can imagine how scared I was when last Saturday a Campus Police officer and a Dean knocked on my door asking if my roommate was okay.

I had not been made aware of the fact that she had been harassed and physically assaulted earlier that night. This is my roommate, my friend, and she was assaulted while she was walking with another person in the middle of campus.

Another student was physically assaulted upon coming out of Ferris Athletic Center at six o’clock at night.

It is not as if these people are making dangerous choices, like walking alone at two in the morning. Students going about their normal activities are being targeted.

Now, I do understand that Trinity College is trying to create a partnership with the community of Hartford. In theory, this would be great.

However, we can still have community outreach projects and make efforts to connect with the city. Halloween on Vernon and other programs can be run without leaving the campus open for anyone to be on, especially during the night.

In reality, when it gets dark, what reason do the local people of Hartford have to be on our campus at all?

In an ideal world, there would be no tension between Trinity College and the local community, but in this world, there is.

This tension is creating danger, and people are going to get seriously hurt if something does not change.

The administration says that they are combatting these events by hiring more Campus Safety officers, and I will admit that I see more neon across campus than before.

But this increase in Campus Police staff clearly has not deterred delinquent activity.

Nothing says that Campus Police are failing to do their job more than the fact that the same group of kids on bicycles committed three incidences of the same, or similar, nature, on the same night.

If there are so many new staff members, then the issue should have been addressed, or even solved completely.

Trinity College needs to make the decision to have a closed campus. As an institution of higher education, the safety of the student population should be Trinity College’s number one priority, no matter what.

We are a small campus, and chances are that every person knows someone personally who has been attacked by the locals.

I do not want to wake up one day and find out that anyone I know, or anyone else, for that matter, has been hurt on campus. It is Trinity’s job to keep the students safe, and right now, the school is failing miserably. This campus is our home, and we should feel comfortable going about our daily lives.

So the question is, how bad do these attacks have to get before the administration takes real steps to keep the students of Trinity safe?

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