Should Students be More Weary of Safety on Campus?

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Photo of a UPD cop car on UNLV's campus. Photo from the UNLV website.

In the first few days of the new fall semester, UNLV students have already been exposed to 3 robberies. Criminal activity on university grounds isn’t something new. In the past couple years, students have faced automotive robberies, break-ins, and active shootings on campus. 

Is UNLV doing enough to support student safety on campus? 

“UNLV could do better when it comes to security and just overall presence of security on campus,” says Kourtney Lyons, a 4th year Film Studies major and Resident Assistant (RA) on campus. “Especially with us being an open campus and being so close to Tropicana, you would think they would take student security more seriously. They introduced Student Security in the residence halls, which is extremely limited in the scope of what they do.” 

Given a series of security issues in campus housing, Student Security has been introduced, and they are seen in front of housing complexes from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

“Student Security is responsible for taking care of anything that occurs outside the residence halls including unwanted guests roaming around the area,” said Shansen Ternora, UNLV Housing’s Security Administrator.

A point reiterated many times to RA’s is that once someone is let into the building, security is no longer liable. This point applies to the break-in that occurred last school year in the UCC Residential Complex. 

“In general, a lot of UNLV’s responses to security seem more reactive than proactive, especially when it comes to security around housing,” Lyons said. “A prime example is the introduction of shatter-proof windows installed on the first floor of UCC complex after the break in. Yet they haven’t done it for any other complex.”

The first floor of Tonopah North, where the UNLV Housing offices are located, have shatter proof glass windows. Tonopah North is also the oldest residence hall on campus, but every building after that was not built with the commodity. 

Both Ternora and Lyons generally agree that University Police (UPD) is on campus in name, but not always in support. As an RA, Lyons said that UPD takes a long time to respond to certain incidents in housing, and aren’t always seen roaming campus often in certain areas. Ternora also agreed that their response time hasn’t always been the greatest, especially to certain situations. 

While UNLV continues to navigate student safety, what can students do to keep themselves safe? 

The school constantly recommends using the Rebel Safe App, but many students do not seem to enjoy the user interface experience. Many have said that it is slightly difficult to navigate. Keeping UPD’s phone numbers saved to one’s phone might be ideal. 

Many recommend staying on the phone with someone as you walk alone, carrying protection key chains and avoid walking in poorly lit areas. UNLV also recommends being aware of where call-boxes are located across campus in case of emergency.

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