Several incidents that have occurred on and around campus throughout the 2011-12 school year have caused unease among many students. In order to address students’ concerns, a town hall meeting was conducted Feb. 7 in Ice Auditorium.
The meeting was led by McMinnville Police Department’s Captain Dennis Marks; Susan Hopp, vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students; Robert Cepeda, director and chief of College Public Safety; Jeff Mackay, associate dean of Students; and Rachel Coffey, president of the Associated Student’s of Linfield College.
Cepeda updated students about lighting around campus in response to students’ concerns of how dark Davis Street is at night. A recommendation was sent to McMinnville’s city department by a student, which was answered with new lighting on Davis Street.
A recommendation has also been sent to the city department for other areas on and off campus that require more lighting, such as the area around Taylor Hall.
“[We] don’t know if we can anticipate this happening again in three months,” Dennis said in regard to the beginning pattern of attacks near campus.
So far, Linfield has had robberies in Pi Kappa Alpha and Theta Chi fraternities, two thefts on campus, one kidnapping and a few assaults.
“We want to find the underlying issue and make sure they don’t happen in the future,” Dennis said.
The cases are still under investigation and more interviews still need to be conducted. However, the police department does have some leads, Dennis said.
To discourage students from walking alone or in small groups late at night, ASLC has offered to cover half of the fare for a taxi service for all students. A ride from campus to 3rd Street is $5.00, which means the cost for students will only be $2.50. The taxis can hold up to six passengers. All students need to have to ride is their student I.D. card with a current sticker. Cash on hand is not required, and the fare can be charged to your student account.
Other tips for staying safe on and off campus include staying in public, well-lit areas, staying alert to your surroundings and walking in groups.
“Plan the whole evening, even the end,” Mackay said.
Mackay advised students to stay together the whole night and to not leave each other behind. Having trusted companions is also recommended.
Any concerns students have about public lighting can be directed to the city of McMinnville, however, students are also welcome to contact the school with any concerns they might have.
“Do what makes you feel safe,” Coffey said. “[But don’t] let the fear take us over, because that’s when they win.”
For more information about the taxi service, visit www.linfield.edu/aslc/taxi.html.
Samantha Sigler/News editor
Samantha Sigler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.