Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Awareness Is Key to Security

Each year, beginning with the hectic fun of New Student Orientation and the bittersweet farewells of convocation, a new class of Hoyas leave the comfort of their childhood homes and face the realities of life in Washington, D.C.

Georgetown tries to assist students in this transition by providing them security from the dangers of urban life. But the wave of thefts that began at the beginning of the year and continues to poke its ugly head into residence hall rooms, apartments and townhouses indicates that neither students nor the university are living up to their end of the security agreement.

Students who leave doors unlocked are all but asking to have valuable property stolen. Yet many on-campus thefts have taken place in rooms and apartments that have been locked. These crime scenes somewhat surprisingly, have not always included signs of breaking and entering.

For this to be the case, the thefts would have to have been committed by someone with a key and access to the room. At Georgetown, students, RHO workers and university facilities and housekeeping employees have access to student rooms.

In light of reports of a missing key, there can no longer be any presumptions of trust regarding access to student rooms. Public safety officials must step up and strictly enforce internal accountability on this matter.

Whenever university employees enter a room without its residents present, they are supposed to leave notes that indicate this entrance – but these employees often do not. Employees must realize their responsibility in this matter, and notes must be left. Detailed records of who has been in rooms should also be kept. Room keys must be controlled tightly by RHO and university officials. Students should also be notified in advance if their room is to be entered for any reason without their previous request.

Yet part of this responsibility lies with the students at Georgetown. The university distributes information packets regarding housing procedures and security precautions that should be taken before students leave for breaks, and often sends e-mails as well. Many students though, look at these packets only long enough to throw them away, and delete university e-mails without a second thought.

Students must take these notifications, when provided, seriously. Residence hall rooms and apartments may seem like a home-away-from-home. But each home has hundreds of people living nearby and people who don’t live there and have sets of keys to enter. Students cannot forget how many people have access to their living space.

Valuables must be secured at all times, especially during extended absences. Evidently, that the lock on your door is no longer adequate security.

There is no excuse, however, for these locks to be inadequate or for their keys to turn up missing. Although the Hilltop obviously lacks the home-cooked meals and Thanksgiving dinners that we may be accustomed to at our family homes, it is our home for these four transient years. We must all work consciously to keep it secure.

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