By: Kate Roudebush (Loyola Sophomore)
During the early hours of Saturday, September 23, three Loyola students were robbed at gunpoint outside of Marquette Hall, a dorm located on the outskirts of the Lakeshore Campus.
Although no one was harmed, the incident was an alarming reminder to students of their safety, or perhaps lack thereof, on campus.
Violence and theft in and around Chicago universities are seemingly more prevalent now than ever before. Since the school year began, there have been numerous reports of robberies on Loyola, DePaul, and University of Illinois Chicago’s campuses alike.
Loyola Campus Safety responded to the armed robbery by posting a Crime Alert that detailed the event, ensured the case would be investigated, gave three tips, and closed with, “The safety and well-being of the Loyola community is always of paramount importance and a top priority.”
Since the incident occurred, Loyola students have been forced to confront their security. If this can happen to other students, can it happen to them too?
For some, crime was an obvious part of life in Chicago.
Senior Amina Dalal believes that Loyola’s campus has not become any less safe since the recent robbery. “I feel 100% safe on campus,” Dalal said. “I feel no change from three months ago to now.”
Other students, however, do not believe that their well-being is as certain.
“[I feel] somewhat safe,” Senior Cole Weaver said. “The southern side of campus, I think, is a little more dangerous. If you’re on the main side, north of Sheridan, I think it’s better. As soon as you start to branch out, it’s a bit unsafe.”
The belief that safety on campus may be waning is more common.
Junior Cristian Pesantez, a Chicagoland native, recognizes the impacts of the recent surge in campus robberies. “I feel pretty safe,” he said. “But with the stuff that’s been happening recently, not as safe as I used to be. You have to be cautious.”
Campus Safety is quick to send out alerts to students to keep them updated on any potential harm, but this may not be enough. Some are calling for Campus Safety to be more present on campus and in areas that students frequent.
“[We need] less emails and more security,” Pesantez said. “I feel like the Campus Police focus on the wrong things and aren’t focused on what’s actually important. They’ll be sitting on campus and won’t drive around where it’s needed.”
But are these email alerts enough?
Both students who feel protected and students who feel vulnerable are urging Loyola to further educate students about their safety and well-being.
Sophomore Fiachra Logan, who feels very safe on campus, acknowledges that all students should confidently feel this way. “The school can do some more educating for people about what are safe areas to be, what’s not safe, and what times [are safest],” Logan said.
Many students share this desire for further safety education.
“It’s difficult to maintain a big area like this,” Weaver said. “I think giving more tips, guidelines, and resources would be better [for students].”
As an institution of higher education, Loyola is more than capable of furthering its students’ knowledge and skill sets. Loyolans are passionate about the school’s welfare. Though crime is not coming to an end anytime soon, through education and readiness, the community can learn to be vigilant.