Many students here at Georgia State University have felt unsafe, but with the library robberies earlier this year and the drug-related shooting in front of Piedmont North a few weeks ago, students are feeling more unsafe than ever.
Attending a university in the heart of downtown Atlanta has many advantages: big companies in our backyard, a fast-paced environment, and opportunities that universities other places might not have. The location however, also has its negative traits, with one of the biggest issues being safety.
Students weighed in on the crime around our campus. A common concern was the amount of time it takes for alerts to be sent out to faculty and students.
“When living in downtown, you are aware crimes will be committed. However, it still shakes you up whenever they occur. I do feel that Georgia State is doing a good job at keeping its students safe and police are responding effectively and immediately, but the increase in crime is concerning. It also took a long time for students to be notified from the university about the shooting. I would like to see more preventative measures.”
– Ylda Highlander, Junior
“When attending school in Atlanta or any major city, safety is always going to be a concern. I feel as though Georgia State takes precautionary measures to ensure student safety. Even with the recent robberies and shooting, I have always felt safe on campus. However, I am concerned with how slow the university was to notify students of the shooting. The slow reaction time makes me worried that if a mass shooting were to occur, that faculty and students would not be informed in time to prevent a large-scale tragedy.”
– Annika Kraft, Sophomore
On Tuesday, March 22, President Mark Becker sent an e-mail to students sharing his outrage about the growing crime activity on campus. Becker discussed changes that will be made. Connie Sampson, who heads the University police, will now focus on building services and Georgia State is currently searching for an experienced law enforcement professional to focus on campus safety. Until the right person is found, Deputy Chief Carlton Mullis is serving as chief of police. Becker also stated that Georgia State will be making changes so that notifications and emergency alerts will be sent out in a timely manner.
Georgia State University has much to offer and is a great university to attend, but if students begin to feel more unsafe, it will definitely turn current potential students away and hurt the university. It is comforting to know that President Becker is taking action to make this a safer campus and hopefully safety measures can be put into place and help the university’s reputation.