Under the cover of night: Safety concerns

Oct. 15 2014

Royal Purple Editorial Staff Opinion

Night is a time that brings a tingling feeling of insecurity. The noises of daytime are gone. People are usually tucked safely in their homes and aren’t often found wandering the streets. Shadows play tricks on the mind. The darkness offers better coverage for crimes.

Even “night owls” might get a sinking dread in their stomachs as they wander the town under the evening stars.

It’s natural. Walking around at night is an entirely different sensation compared to walking in the bustle of daytime. In light of recent events, students should be aware of what they can do to remain safe in the wee hours.

This isn’t to say that the victims of crimes that occur at night are at fault. It’s disgusting to think that UW-Whitewater students are harming other students for reasons that are uncalled for.
Considering that there’s no way to completely wipe out crime, however, those who might be victims of it need to be better aware of how to handle situations that leave them feeling insecure.

UW-Whitewater police offer tips and services regarding crime prevention on their website. Several tips are no-brainers: don’t go walking at night by yourself, don’t engage in a fight if you have the ability to run from it, etc. Regardless, these tips are still helpful and shouldn’t be shrugged off.

One tiny decision could change how the course of the night plays out.

One little move could make the difference of avoiding a conflict or getting involved in one.

It might seem close to impossible to escape certain situations, but there are still ways to lessen the consequences. Students should try anything and everything to get out of these dangerous confrontations – even if it means losing a bit of their pride.

There’s nothing heroic about standing up to a fight if running from it will succeed in evading problems in the future. A lot more than pride will hurt if a student doesn’t put an effort into playing it safe.
So, when a suspicious person or group of people approaches you saying or doing something you find insulting, you have to know when to turn your back and leave. You have to know that there are other options – that you can call for help if you really need it.

No one is going to look down on someone who calls the police when they’re feeling unsafe. That’s what the police are there for, and students need to learn to utilize those available services.
For one thing, there are emergency phone booths scattered all around the campus; in a situation that could turn critical, those are there to help a victim. They aren’t up just for display purposes. Students should be better aware of their locations and be ready to use them when the time calls for it.

If an unsafe situation arises off of campus, a cellphone comes in handy to call for help. Or even just a loud shout to draw the attention of anyone who may be around. It may not look heroic, but neither will it look heroic to show up someplace battered and torn because you refused to leave the situation when you could have.

Students like to stand up for themselves and their rights, but sometimes the best option is to ignore the insults and press onwards. Besides, if someone is doing something personally insulting, they usually aren’t worth your time and effort to deal with, anyway.

Let the police deal with them.

Crimes will never come to a dead halt no matter what we do to prevent them. There will always be people looking for trouble. There will always be victims who are incapable of escaping the trouble. But there will always be ways we can at least try to lessen the bad results of the encounter.

Whitewater can become a safer community if we learn how to handle these situations.

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