You(r Parents) Can Sleep Soundly

Written by

According to the recently released Annual Fire Safety and Security Report for 2009, Columbians can sleep more soundly this year than ever before: the on-campus crime rate has decreased compared to 2006-2008, all buildings have been found to comply with the NYC Fire Code, and the University has received an A grade in the (apparently) prestigious Reader’s Digest survey on university campus safety.

James McShane, Vice President of Columbia Public Safety, released the document to the Columbia community yesterday. In his introduction to the report, McShane lauded Columbia’s “extremely low crime rate for an urban university,” and emphasized the importance of maintaining a good relationship with surrounding neighborhoods. How the recent spate of assaults and robberies just off-campus will factor into future Public Safety measures was not addressed. Also left unmentioned was the effectiveness of the new university-wide text system (tested again earlier this week) – it may be designed for emergencies, but nothing prevents Public Safety from asking us “Butler Cafe @7:30?”



  1. mockfrog

    How the recent spate of assaults and robberies just off-campus will factor into future Public Safety measures was not addressed

    • Yeah,

      it's a patently absurd report. Any cursory observer will note that criminal incidents that occurred once or twice a year at most in the very streets adjacent to the campus- violent thefts at gun and knife-point, assaults, attempted assaults, etc.-- have experienced perhaps at least a 10-fold increase. In the past month alone, a cursory glance would suggest that there may in fact have been more incidents than in the totality of the past year-- as measured by the alarming increase in frequency of the official emails announcing the locations and times of said crimes in recent weeks, and the postings of Public Safety flyers to the same effect at certain departmental offices. One office that I passed by a few days ago for the first time since last year had amassed an absolutely incredible proliferation of flyer postings-- all new and all different-- just since mid-summer. More, to be clear, than I have ever seen assembled at any time in four years of passing by the same room. Whatever the cause (and I for one believe it is the economy), there is very, very strong anecdotal evidence that our campus is not safer.

      • alumnus

        except - Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue are NOT the campus. The NYPD is responsible for patrolling those areas. Blaming Columbia Public Safety for failures of city cops is outstandingly stupid.

        You can claim the entire city is "our" campus.. but that doesnt make it so.

        Trust me, USC public safety doesn't include compton city streets in its public safety reports.

  2. cutting through the bs

    what they've basically done is gone after underage drinkers and reduced the number of alcohol related crimes through draconian measures that leave students less happy. By reducing these crimes (which were probably most frequent), they can claim to have increased campus safety. However my guess is serious crimes that we should be worried about have shot through the roof

  3. on a limb  

    ok, so I'm sure this won't be very popular, but isn't the bottom line that both underage drinking and drug use are against the law, and just because we're on a campus doesn't mean the authorities responsible should turn a blind eye to it? Now believe me, I'd be the first to sign off on lowering the drinking age to 18 and decriminalizing marijuana, but for now it's still against the law, as in everywhere, not just Columbia (to state the obvious, but it's relevant). Asking the administration to ignore activity that would lead to spending the weekend in jail anywhere else reeks of childish entitlement. I'm not saying a little discretion on both sides wouldn't be justified, but just because college is supposed to be an experience that pushes people's boundaries and allows for new perspectives does not mean we don't have to account to the rules that everyone else does as well. If those rules are unjust, fine, try and change them but don't expect special treatment because its supposed to be educational/fun/we pay money to go here.

    That'll be all.

  4. Ah.

    But public safety does in fact patrol these streets as you will recall. There are residence halls all along the streets I'm speaking of, academic buildings and Columbia owned establishments, faculty housing, affiliated campuses, etc. Remember, Barnard is across Broadway. Teachers College is across 121st street. Social Work is at 123 and Amsterdam. UTS is at the corner of 122 and Broadway. UTJ is even further uptown. Nussbaum residence hall is at 110 street. There are graduate residence halls stretching at least as far down as 103. Our campus, to put it bluntly, is not confined to the quadrangular grid between Broadway and Amsterdam, from 114 to 121.

  5. correction.

    By "UTJ" I meant "JTS."

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.