Staff Editorial: Focus on dorm safety must be renewed

The recent string of robberies in GW dorms has been a frightening reminder of the importance of dorm safety and being an alert resident of Foggy Bottom and D.C. as a whole.

Communication from the University Police Department through e-mail alerts to the GW community were informative and helped keep residents aware of the latest situations both in public areas and the dorms. This page applauds the initiative of UPD to communicate with concerned members of the community with substantial information that not only helped in an investigation but also aided in keeping students safe. It is also important to applaud the efforts of UPD, who banded together over a five-day period to apprehend a suspect that rolled through two buildings, racking up ten robberies.

Yet GW students, not just in the targeted Ivory Tower, must remember to be responsible on their own on a consistent basis. Many Ivory residents fail to lock their doors while others did not alert UPD after strangers attempted to enter their rooms – simple actions that could have helped prevent problems. While people should not be leery of dorm life, they must take common-sense steps to protect themselves and their belongings.

The fact that the suspect chose to return to a single dorm numerous times is telling that the current measures in place are not enough. UPD should take this time to communicate with students about how they can protect themselves on a daily basis and perhaps re-evaluate current housing safety procedures and how officers patrol dorms. Until then, students must be more aware of their surroundings and implement measures that will keep them safe.

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