Currently our campus is almost 26,000 students strong and predominantly female. Last week there was a sexual assault that took place in one of the busiest academic buildings on campus at 5pm. Unfortunately, there are currently few security cameras, and a startling lack of security presence on foot. Please help us change that!
As a reaction to the sexual assault on campus this past week and past attacks that may or may not have been reported, concerned students will be holding sexual assault awareness and education events as often as possible until notice is taken by those in charge. In addition, we will be handing out teal ribbons as a way to promote discussion about sexual assault, and as a means of showing support for survivors of assault. We will also be collecting suggestions and demanding better security measures on our campus.
One of our concerns is the incurrence of debt due to university spending that will cost students millions each year in the form of two new student fees to be instituted for "debt service" related to the new football stadium.** This is however only ONE point of concern. The Chancellor has allocated for $1 Million dollars in safety funds for concerns raised during Safety Walks, as well as $5 Million for other safety initiatives like the lighting up grade in some of our parkings decks. As is we have few cameras, inadequate lighting in many locations on campus, and a rather flawed transportation service after the buses stop running. As it currently stands, options for students to receive safe rides and proper escorts to their destination are limited, and exist only in locations that invite further attacks to happen. Issues like these seem to be indicative of a need for a little more funding in the area of safety.
These things need to change in order to create a safer environment for students. PLEASE help us raise awareness of this, and help us make UNCC into the safe and secure campus that we know it should be.I genuinely believe that with the cooperation of the Chancellor and others in leadership with students and staff UNCC's already wonderful campus will truly shine.
** Just a sidenote, we are well aware that the money for the stadium did not come from the same pool of funds as that of the safety budget. We are not trying to imply that in any way.
One thing that seems to escape the media's attention which bears repeating over and over is our readiness to agree with the University on the positive intent of its current safety measures. UNCC's campus is safer than it was ten years ago or even five years ago. These are not small accomplishments and our intent never was to trivilialize these accomplishments.
What we want more than anything is to push for more transparency in how the school is handling our safety, more student involvement, better education of students on the measures currently in place, and working together to help ease the fears of students and faculty. The outpouring of support from students, faculty, and the community has been wonderful. We appreciate all of your help so far in bringing these concerns to light, and we hope that in some way this can serve as a channel of communication to bring any concerns about safety into the open.
Earlier this year, the University released a report on campus safety that can be found at this link. While we suggest reading the ENTIRE report to educate yourself on the work the University has already done, pages 58 and 78 summarize Student and Faculty concerns respectively. It goes without saying that the items we have listed in the petition letter below match almost verbatim with the report's findings. It is because of this that we will continue to push for greater awareness of these concerns, and work to develop a forum where students and staff may be actively engaged.
This is our campus, and we want nothing more than to feel safe and to enjoy the beautiful campus that we have been provided. Please let us help ourselves, the students of future years, and the local community.