By Rae DeBrabander

According to the annual security and fire safety report released by Western Michigan University on October 1st, robbery and burglary rates are rising on the WMU campus.  The increase has some students concerned.

“Every-time I get one of those WMU alerts about an armed robbery, I get more and more nervous. I don’t like feeling unsafe” said WMU student and on-campus resident Amanda Addiego, 19. Addiego lives in the Britton/Hadley dorm located in the valley one area of campus. As a first year student at WMU, Addiego said that feeling safe so far from home is a top priority.

According to the annual security and fire safety report released last fall, reports of robberies increased to six reported in 2015 from one reported in 2013. Reports of burglaries increased to 17 in 2015 from 13 in 2013. Robberies involve taking or attempting to take something from a person and burglaries involve breaking into a structure.

unknown-3-copyAlthough these increases may seem slight, it has been rather significant to WMU students.

“As a new student here, seeing this report makes me really scared. Should I be scared on campus or just more careful? I don’t really know what to do,” said transfer student Claudia Caranci, 19. Caranci recently transferred to on-campus living after being a student at Grand Valley State University last year.

It may seem difficult to prevent these kind of incidents, however there are some steps students can take to reduce their risk of becoming a victim to these crimes.

”As common knowledge, I think students should always keep their doors locked when they leave their home and when they go to bed for the night,” said 21-year old WMU student Anne Kaczkowski. Koczkowski is the Vice President of Risk Management for the Panhellenic Council. Her position entails working with members of the Greek community at WMU in connection with leaders of the student body and public safety officials in order to maintain the safety of students.

Kaczkowski also suggests student be more selective about the items they bring when moving onto campus. “Is it really necessary to bring four of your Fossil watches, or a full video game system with surround sound and a flat screen TV? I would suggest leaving it at home or locking it in a safe while you’re gone,” said Kaczkowski.

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