Campus Security cannot protect student property

Increasing crime reports illustrate Campus Security’s inability to combat thefts from vehicles.

The University of Tulsa continuously preaches safety on campus; however, the assurances ring hollow with the upsurge in catalytic converter thefts. As potential incoming students tour the campus with their guides, marveling at our blue light emergency phones and the security every officer patrol car seems to exude, TU markets itself as safe and secure.

However, according to the Daily Crime Log, Fire Log & Incident Reports there have been 28 thefts from vehicles on campus and 21 reports of stolen bicycles filed since January. There have also been 11 reports of catalytic converter thefts this year. For a school that claims to have proactive security patrols conducted routinely, they don’t have much to show for it.

Catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise as precious metals prices soar. They are located on the undersides of vehicles and break down harmful compounds produced through burning gas. What makes them so valuable is the platinum-group metals they’re made of. The prices of these metals have increased, and people have taken advantage of all the unattended parked cars in our lots.

One student reported seeing a man crawl underneath their vehicle as they were sitting inside. The student started their vehicle and proceeded to watch the man desperately clamber from underneath the car and run away.

In many of these cases, security camera footage is not clear and suspects or other identifying information are indiscernible. There are also parking lots without security cameras installed at all. According to one report, there are no surveillance cameras that are pointed directly at the 8th and Harvard lot. How can the university promise to keep our personal property safe if they do not have the means or will to do so?

The theft and destruction of property on campus is not being deterred by campus security. TU needs to implement other methods to protect our personal property which can double as extra precautions for student safety. There are numerous benefits to installing new security cameras that cover every parking lot and bike rack. Not only do cameras deter illegal activities, but they would increase the number of suspects caught.

Campus security alone is not cutting it, no matter how vigilantly TU reps them. There has been discourse on the matter of replacing them with the Tulsa Police Department. This would cut out the middle man as most of the crime reports are filed with the TPD anyway. Also, with a more authoritative presence on campus, the university’s crime rate would decline.

The university needs to accept that things cannot continue as they are. Students do not have the money nor time to replace their catalytic converter or bicycle when they are stolen. These are preventable crimes. I should not have to worry about someone cutting my bike lock while I’m in class or stealing the precious metals off my car.

Post Author: Shelby Hiens