Letter: Community is key to improving safety

    Community is definitely a buzzword. We try and instill community on campus through traditions, mottos and titles. Each of us may articulate community in different ways, but we know what community is. We live community without verbalizing it through the relationships we have with friends, the common bond of being Wildcats and the encouragement we share during exams.

    The moment something negatively affects our community is a moment I won’t accept. I was shocked to get the emergency update this past weekend about a young gentleman assaulted and robbed within earshot of Shepard Residential College. Incidents have been hitting closer to home in the recent months. Criminal assault is despicable at any level or in any environment, but it is absolutely not permissible at Northwestern.

    Under Armour had a hugely successful marketing campaign based around the mantra, “We Must Protect This House!” A football team guards each player on the team.  This fortitude does not always prevent the wide receiver from having his leg broken or the quarterback from getting sacked. The team, though, does its finest to protect each of its members.

    Every student, faculty and neighbor of Northwestern has the responsibility of ensuring the security of our teammates — every member of our community. The Associated Student Government is your biggest cheerleader and your biggest advocate. I know I am speaking on behalf of the more than 125 members of ASG when I say that I will not sit back and allow my teammates to be caught off guard or tackled. We exist to serve you and provide you with the best university experience, including everything from student life to safety.

    I want to first share my solidarity with the gentleman of our community who experienced this incident over the weekend. We apologize that you had to experience that and please know that we are here to encourage you in any manner. We also share our solidarity with each Northwestern member who has experienced her or his negative encounter on or near campus.

    We will protect this house together and ASG has some projects in the works that I want to share regarding campus peace of mind.

    Two light walks are scheduled, which will allow Northwestern administrators and Evanston officials to visit the areas that are not well lit on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

    Steven Monacelli, the community relations vice president, and I have met with the city manager and assistant city manager of Evanston and are meeting with President Schapiro and Dr. Telles-Irvin, the vice president of student affairs, this week to discuss safety.

    The Greek Caucus of ASG Senate is exploring a project that increases safety in the sorority quads. It is also aiming to partner with SafeRide to provide more opportunities for students to use this service. One program similar to SafeRide at another university includes a vehicle that patrols the streets most visited by students and offers rides to students they see walking alone.

    Thank you for letting us share some ASG initiatives with you. We are excited to keep you abreast as progress is made.

    Let’s protect our house and enhance our community together.

    Austin Young
    Student Body President


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