By Christian Bailey, The Whetstone
Junior Najee Segar thinks the reported decrease in campus crime has a lot to do with the fact that nothing really happens on campus for students to get into trouble.
“Campus is more boring, fewer students are participating, which, of course, would decrease the statistics of inappropriate behavior on campus,” she said.
Campus Security created a 5-year incident report to the campus, which covered only the months from Aug. 15-Nov. 15, from 2012-2017.
According to the report, campus crime has decreased more than 40 percent in the past three years.
Head of Security Walter Beaupre said the information was requested after President Clark remarked that he would like to know if campus crime was increasing or decreasing during the first few months of the school years.
Some students said they attribute the drastic decrease in crime statistics the lack of participation among the student body, strict policies enforced by security, and students knowing ways to do crimes but not get caught.
With a total of 289 incidents, 2015 was the peak of campus crimes. These incidents included failure to comply/disorderly conduct, alcohol violations, drug use, assault, noise complaints, burglary/ theft, trespassing/suspicious person/suspicious activity, vandalism/criminal activity, guest misconduct/violation, shots fired, and a category labeled other with included crimes such as mail tampering and vehicle accidents.
As of Nov. 2017, the total crimes decreased to 148, nearly half.
“The decrease of crime is due to Wesley’s strict policies,” junior Kenya Gorham said. “Students know if they break the rules it is a large change that they can kicked out.”
Gorham said she also noticed a change in atmosphere on campus since her start in the fall of 2015.
“In my opinion, school isn’t as fun as it used to be, which can also be a reason why the crime rate has decreased,” she said. “People aren’t doing dumb stuff to get kicked out like they were when I was a freshman.”
Beaupre said he also has noticed a change in atmosphere, probably caused by the different kind of students Wesley has recruited.
“I think we are recruiting students who are a better fit for Wesley,” he said.
Junior Ny’Jah Wilcox, however, agreed with Gorham’s explanation.
“The atmosphere is different, nobody interacts, nobody participates, orgs are lacking, it’s just weird now,” she said.
Senior Katherine Nettles came to Wesley in 2012, and said she has seen the best and worst of Wesley.
“A lot of people have left, people have jobs, people aren’t just sitting around doing dumb stuff to get in trouble,” she said.
She said she believes some students who came to school in got with the wrong crowds of people.
Some students said they also believed campus security guards have played a part in the decrease of crime.
“They check IDs, which is annoying, but I guess it’s good for our safety,” senior Zakari
“Security has decreased access to outside students, they are not allowed to come to any of our events,” Segar said.
Beaupre said the restriction on outside guest has been the same.
“I don’t think we’re being more strict,” he said. “The policy always has been and enforced that outside guests to the college must be escorted while on campus.”
Some students think tht security does not do a good job creating a safe environment.
“I don’t always feel safe,” Wilcox said. “I’ve seen security display negligent behavior.”
Students said they have learned security’s tactics and they know how to avoid getting in trouble.
“Students are smart, they’re outsmarting security,” Nettles said.
“It’s a lot of people from the hood. They move a certain kind of way, it’s no snitching! A lot of stuff still happens but people don’t tell or report it so it is not included in the stats,” Hilaire said.