With two more instruments stolen from the music department, it is clear University Police failed to do enough to secure expensive student equipment after the first wave of instrument thefts over Winter Break. Despite GW’s apparent inaction, at least Risk Management has agreed to cover the costs of stolen instruments not picked up by student insurance.
Admitting fault in the second wave of thefts is a good start. Now GW should treat students affected by security lapses over Winter Break the same and make some overdue changes to the way instruments are protected on our campus. Here’s one idea we’ve already offered: put some cameras down there.
After the first wave of thefts, GW did little more to increase security than place a sign warning students of the theft risk in the department locker room. UPD says patrols have been increased, but they obviously weren’t effective. And GW refused to reimburse students for their lost property. This is a hands-off legal approach to the problem and a bad move considering students’ growing frustration with the service they get at GW. Now that the University is coming around and realizing it can’t deny negligence after more embarrassing thefts, it should continue on its path to better service.
GW, like any university, must take better care of its students to combat theft – especially in one of the few areas where expensive student equipment is stored every year. Installing security cameras may not solve all of the problems but would certainly serve as a strong deterrent. More security patrols by University Police officers would not hurt either.
This last wave of larceny is dealing a considerable blow to students who simply want a safe place to keep their instruments. Hopefully, the University will restore what has been lost – a sense of security.
It is unfortunate that Risk Management must pay for lapsed security on campus, but a reality the University must realize until trombones stop walking out of the music department any time students aren’t around.