Being a freshmen girl on any University campus allows subjectivity to various dangerous situations. Possibilities are unlimited in every school, considering it is the first time in most peoples’ lives that they are truly independent. Most girls and boys quickly learn how to avoid dangerous situations, however, it is frightening when rumors begin to stir about something that is uncontrollable- an assaulter on campus. I freaked out when I heard of the three assaults, as any normal girl would. Apparently a man on campus has attacked or attempted to attack three separate girls walking back to their dorms at night. When you see news reporters and your fellow female students being interviewed, you tend to get a little nervous- to say the least. But the more I think about it and compare our school to others, the more I see how safe we are here. Not to say that we shouldn’t take proper precautions, because evidently bad things can happen even on the safer of campuses. I am simply pointing out that although the recent incidents have made our school look like an unsafe atmosphere, in all the times I’ve walked to class and back, I have not felt so.
A few of my friends attend city schools in which they must carry mace at all times, steer clear of wearing expensive jewelry or designer bags, and avoid walking home after hours at all costs. When searching the internet for other assaults at Villanova University, they were nearly unattainable, indicating that there have not been many similar happenings in the past at Villanova. The Campus Security officers are extremely strict, checking everyone’s Wildcards when they enter the dorm buildings, and making sure that every visitor supplies adequate identification. The officers do not allow any visitors in the rooms past 11 on weeknights and past 2 on weekends. Emails are sent out regularly about what precautions students can take to protect themselves. The school offers programs, lectures, and requirements about safety, sexual and physical assault, and alcohol consumption. The campus is well lit, and students can chose to take paths back to south that are more populated at night, such as the one through Bartley instead of the “rape trail.” And contrary to the negative connotation of the name “rape trail,” it seems to have merely been a name that stuck. I don’t really see any way in which the school could take any extra measures, unless they kept track of every student’s whereabouts, which is obviously a far stretch. At this time, it is highly advised to walk with people at night, and of course to watch out for any strange people lurking around. Villanova University may have had a recent fluke that has temporarily tainted its image, but overall I strongly believe that the school is a safe environment. News of the assaults scared most girls on campus, but it also heightened awareness that even safe campuses have their bad times. Even in places where people feel most comfortable, measures should always be taken to be prepare for anything that might happen. Safety cannot be taken for granted anywhere, and I think this incident has been so shocking because students have never felt insecure. The truth is that college is a reality, and those who may not have had to watch out for themselves at home, now must learn to do so.