The off-campus safety concerns

Michelle Quinn

The area around this campus is not safe. With shootings at Lincoln Park, students cars’ getting stolen, etc., it seems like no authoritative figure is around to take these situations seriously.

The Quad City Times has reported multiple shootings at Lincoln Park. This park is right across the street from Swanson Commons, an on-campus residence hall.

Recently, the basketball hoops at the park were taken down in an attempt to combat the number of shootings that have taken place there. However, it does not seem to be very effective. There have since been multiple shootings after they removed the hoops.

On Oct. 11, 2019 Public Safety sent out an email regarding student safety. They informed us that there was yet another shooting near campus. This took place nearby at 2900 block of 7th Avenue, Rock Island, IL.

It is known that an individual was shot as the police continue to investigate. In the email they reported that the incident had no connection to the college. However, with dangerous activities happening so close to campus, it is hard to believe that we are safe here.

This past summer, on-campus residents, who lived across the street from Lincoln park heard gunshots. This is not the first time there has been alleged shooting in this particular park. In fact, there have been multiple shootings there these past couple of years.

According to the community safety alert emails, this year alone we have had one bike and two cars stolen right from campus parking lots. There is no winning for the students on this campus.

They either feel unsafe walking and transporting off campus, or they have to live with the fear of their car getting stolen or robbed every night.

Last year, QC online reported that Rock Island had over 130 stolen vehicles reported.. The dangers from off-campus are near, and in incidents like these, they are overpouring onto campus.

Augustana is fortunate enough to have services such as A.C.E.S. However, those services only extend to the outskirts of campus.

Public Safety is constantly telling students not to walk alone or go to places alone. But, not everyone has a friend willing to walk off-campus with them when convenient. Not only that, but even though the bus system is free for Augustana students, it is still not necessarily safe to ride alone.

Augustana needs to have some type of off-campus shuttle service, to better ensure safety for students.

The medical shuttle and A.C.E.S. are helpful for students. However, it is not enough, and only runs during specific constrained hours.

If someone needs to go to the store in the evening for non-medical reasons, there is nothing for them to do.

Not only are there some students, primarily low income, who can’t afford to have a car on campus, but as illustrated earlier, it is still unsafe for those who do.

As students, we need to be able to have the opportunity to go off campus without feeling unsafe. This is an important change that Augustana needs to make.

Students should not have to feel trapped on campus because they fear being unsafe.