I remember touring UF my senior year of high school and hearing my mom ask the most important question of all: "How safe is campus?" We got the speech about the three-lock dorm system, the blue lights, Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol and all of the resources that make UF one of the safest places to call home. Now I, along with every other student, can only think about taking a self-defense class and buying pepper spray.
In the past week and a half, UF has let the Gator Nation down. We have allowed four of our sisters, daughters, friends, girlfriends, roommates and classmates to be assaulted. Worst of all, we have failed to bring the perpetrator to justice.
Women are told to walk in groups for safety, but two of the victims were not alone when they were attacked. We are told to utilize SNAP, but the system is time-consuming and inefficient. We’re told to download the TapShield app and use the blue light system, but what victim will have the mental clarity to unlock her phone, open the app and hit the button? I agree with and support taking these safety precautions on a daily basis, but UPD and the entire campus administration must immediately do more to prevent future attacks.
UF must make the safety of its students its highest priority. That means finding the criminal who committed these brutal acts and working to end the disturbing trend of assault on campus.
UF mathematics sophomore
[A version of this story ran on page 7 on 9/9/2014 under the headline "UF must do more to make campus safe"]