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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Campus Safety and Crime Update

Campus+Safety+and+Crime+Update

Drugs, Alcohol, and Bike Theft: Campus Crime Update

The 2022-23 school year is nearing the end of its fall term, and opportunities for reflection are everywhere. Knox College Students are checking their grades and goals, making adjustments as they see fit. While students are reflecting, so is Knox Campus Safety. 

On Sept. 30, Director of Campus Safety Nathan Kemp sent the Annual 2022 Security and Fire Safety Report in an email to Knox College students and staff. The 45 page report contains reported crime data from 2019 through 2021 on the Knox College campus, excluding the college’s property Green Oaks in Truro. 

One of the most striking statistics over the course of the pandemic are the Alcohol Violation Disciplinary Referrals. By the end of 2019, the number of these referrals reached 45. In 2020 that number dropped to 18, and in 2021 it rose to 51. 

“In 2020 the number of disciplinary referrals for alcohol violations took a big dip and then popped back up on the other side of 2020, but that would extensively be because no one was here,” Kemp said. 

Although there is not enough data to tell if there is a larger connection between the COVID-19 pandemic and alcohol use, time will tell. There have been 3 alcohol violations on campus in the 2022-23 school year. 

So far this year there have been 5 bicycles stolen on campus. 

“We always work as closely as we can with the Galesburg Police Department, if a student reports to us a stolen bicycle we tend to ask them what their preference is regarding reporting to the police,” said Kemp. “If they wish to make a police report we’ll do everything we can to help facilitate that, if they wish not to make a police report, then we won’t make one on their behalf [or] overstep their wishes to do so. If it is a Knox College owned bike, we will always make a police report.” 

One out of the five bikes stolen on campus was later recovered on campus. 

“Always make sure your bike is securely locked to a bike rack by the frame and tire… with a hardened U-Lock. Always make sure that your bike is securely locked to a bike rack by the frame and tire is ever better with a hardened U lock. We have had a couple of instances of cable locks being cut loose. Keeping an eye on [your bike] is always a good thing, so you can narrow down the time frames of when you last saw the bike is always a plus,” said Kemp.

The Knox Bike Shop currently offers bike lock rentals, and posted instructions for how to properly lock bikes on their Facebook account in Oct. of 2020.

In one case, first-year Megan Schafar took multiple precautions, but her bike was still stolen. 

“I noticed my bike’s front wheel was mostly taken off on one of the first days of orientation. At that point it was still locked to the rack, but my guess is that someone tried to steal it,” Schafar said.

Schafar went to the bike shop for repairs, and asked if there was anything else she could do to prevent it from being stolen. Schafar planned to register her bike, and was advised to move it to a more public rack in the meantime.

“I moved my bike to the rack in front of the library and planned to go back to campus safety as soon as I  could, but that weekend, walking past the library, I saw my bike was gone. It was frustrating,” Schafar said.

Schafar’s bike was found on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2022, nearly a month and a half after it was originally stolen, reportedly in a bush on campus.

According to Kemp, Campus Safety is investigating different ways of securing bikes on campus. 

“The other thing we are tentatively exploring is possible locations for additional secure storage of bicycles [indoors].” Kemp said.

Campus Safety is currently working on upgrading existing bike racks, along with a multitude of  other important safety features on campus.

“We’re looking at some of the more old fashioned bike racks that are less secure, and working on getting those replaced with better ones. We’re looking at lighting needs, and reinstituting the safety walk this year at the request of the Student Senate, and that will help us address lighting needs especially around areas that have traditionally seen more theft,” said Kemp. “We’re doing an overview of our entire camera system, and starting to upgrade older, and out-of-date cameras and add additional cameras to the network to help cover some of those areas that we’re currently missing.”

The Campus Safety walk happened on Oct. 20 at 5pm and covered three different areas of campus. The intention was to create an opportunity for students to alert Campus Safety of any issues they see. This open communication is incredibly important to Kemp. 

“I would love to have people give me some feedback on what it is they’re looking for from the Department of Campus Safety,” said Kemp. “There’s a whole lot of different groups, interests, and organizations that might have different needs, or see something that I don’t see or know something I don’t know. The more involvement from the Knox community the better.”

Associate Director of Campus Safety Dan Robinson echoes Kemp’s desire for community participation.

“If someone thinks of something that maybe we haven’t thought of, we’ll certainly entertain it and implement it if we find that it has merit,” said Robinson.

As Knox College returns to a new school year, Campus Safety is hoping for more community involvement.

“Anybody that has thoughts [suggestions, or concerns], we are here. Come to us. Send us an email, walk in our office, we’ll talk to you… I know that there are things that I overlook, the more input the better, and the more community participation the better,” said Kemp.

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