Be aware, Villanovans; crime happens here, too

On a campus like the University’s, it is easy for students to get lulled into a false sense of safety. After all, our campus, with all its lush trees and stately buildings, is reputed for its peaceful atmosphere. For the most part, the campus (which over the years has earned the nickname “the bubble”) is extremely contained.

Often times, the real world seems miles away.

Furthermore, the immediate off-campus area is largely regarded by locals as a bubble within a bubble. In an area where some homes cost millions of dollars and most residents are of the upper-middle class, crime, especially violent crime, seems implausible.

However, a number of recent criminal incidents on and around the University have made students more aware of the dangers of naïveté. Several students were assaulted over a three-month period last semester; a combined effort by Public Safety and the Radnor police force still has not yielded an arrest. Dozens of thefts have occurred on campus. A carjacking occurred off campus. A local restaurant was robbed while its employees and patrons were bound and held at gunpoint. And, most recently, a woman was raped in the course of a burglary in an area near the campus.

It is an unfortunate fact that these incidents took place. It is always difficult to think of the terrible things humans are capable of, but it does not excuse ignorance on the part of students.

Villanova certainly is not, say, New York City in terms of crime. Yet it is still a fact of life that students must be aware of; they cannot try to hide behind a wall of ignorance that is so easy to create in the atmosphere of a school that seems so contained and safe.

Fear should not stop students from their daily activities; however, there are easy steps to take to make oneself less vulnerable to crime. Students must take precautions. Do not travel alone at night or in unlit areas. Do not leave belongings unattended or in an unlocked room. Be aware of your surroundings. Use the call boxes on campus and don’t hesitate to contact Public Safety or call 911.

The temptation to buy into the myth of “the bubble” is one that’s easy to understand. If we choose to believe we have nothing to worry about, we can achieve the ultimate goal of the college experience: a final period of carefree living. Unfortunately, even the most tranquil campus can’t guarantee its students four years of immunity from crime. No one wants to bust the bubble; just be aware that it’s not impenetrable.