Locking up and heading out

We want a break, not break-ins

Angelique Inchierca / Senior Staff and Sebastien Mehegan / Executive Editor

When a student leaves for winter break, they should be excited about going home and seeing their family, but are some students scared to leave? After finals, a majority of KSC students will be leaving their doors, houses, or apartments to go home. Laundry getting stolen from dorms, walking around Keene late at night alone, and getting approached at Cumberland Farms by harmless homeless people is, to a degree, nerve racking, but it’s a total different story when it’s a student’s home getting broken into. Locking doors and keeping a light on has proven to be not enough to stop break-ins or homes getting vandalized. Students feel unsafe and helpless, but the authorities can only do so much.

The police are constantly patrolling the downtown Keene area. They will be there for the students getting affected by these attacks, but if the intruder or trespasser was wearing gloves or if there isn’t any camera footage, then they are just another person at the scene. The police’s duty is not to make sure “students feel safe” but they are there to protect and make sure problems like these do not happen again. It comes down to who promises safety? It is the town’s responsibility to ensure there is more light in the darker corners of Keene.

Landlords should offer security cameras or alarms to protect the renters during breaks. When break-ins happen and things are taken, many people are their to blame, but in the end, a student needs to take responsibility.

On campus, students tend to feel more safe with automatic key cards to enter every building, and another set of passcodes to get into their room. Most of us on campuse studentsthat they felt pretty comfortable, especially with the blue lights on every corner. A problem that has been occuring in residence halls is students telling their friends their passcodes and leaving their doors unlocked. An recurring problem has also been “soft locking” automatic doors where students will hold the door until it just barely closes and leaving it resting on the door frame. This prevents the door from completely shutting so students can pass through without being bothered to take out their ID and scanning it every time. This makes for a problem with roommates who have different opinions on safety, and the likelihood of their possessions being taken. It isn’t unheard of that student’s valuables have been stolen from their unlocked rooms, but this makes it hard for Campus Safety to do anything about it. Students have expressed little concern about leaving their dorm rooms for winter break as their buildings and rooms will be checked by RA’s and locked until the start of the semester in the new year.

Locking cars, keeping valuables hidden and homes closed up, especially when leaving for a break, having some type of response in a household is important; something as simple as pepper spray. Having an open relationship with friends that live nearby or neighbors, especially ones that live in Keene, so that check-ins can be available. Putting up security cameras, or even a sticker could ward out unwanted people. Everyone has had their fair share of odd occurrences living on and off campus – and if a student hasn’t they won’t have to wait to long to experience one. If someone throws a rock through your window, if your house gets broken into or if someone snuck into your dorm room, call the police, be safe, and try to find ways that will help for prevention in the future.