Only you can prevent campus crime

By Leanne Vastbinder, Opinion and Online Editor

How much crime is happening at Newman?

Two reports of suspicious activity on campus this semester have Director of Security Morris Floyd encouraging students to be the eyes and ears of Newman and to report anything out of the ordinary they see to keep campus safe.

The first report was because of a non-student spotted on campus around 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 11. The second call, on Feb. 18, was about a “suspicious character” -- a male who was attempting to take the catalytic converter off a car parked on campus. In both instances, the individuals were removed from campus and a police report was filed in the case of the person suspected of attempted theft.

Floyd said he knows that more crime probably happens around campus but goes unreported.

“If you see anything happening out of the ordinary, please report it. All I can do is educate and ask,” Floyd said.

Last year, there were nine reports of theft either from a vehicle or off of a vehicle. While there have been no reports of theft this semester so far, Floyd sent out an email a couple of weeks ago reminding students to keep their car doors locked and to remove any valuables that could be stolen from the vehicle.

Floyd said at the very least, students should try to hide valuables and keep them out of view from car windows.

“It’s a crime that takes very little time. These guys cruise through on bicycles or on foot and they just look. If they see a bookbag they are thinking, ‘What are the chances a laptop could be in there?’” Floyd said.

Floyd said he has even offered to look after students’ belongings while they are on campus if they feel there is no place in their car to hide their valuables or keep them out of view.

“I’ve always offered if students have too much stuff to carry around campus and they don’t have a place to put it, bring it to the security office,” he said. “We’ll put it in here while you’re in class so you don’t leave it out there.”

Floyd cautions students to take precautions and keep a look-out.

“If you see something that should not be happening or someone who should not be here on this campus, please call us. Report it,” Floyd said.

If students spot suspicious activity, they should call security at 316-253-7580.

PHOTO: Michael Alvarez, Staff Photographer