Editorial: UT Is Not A Gated Community

The University of Tampa is a historic campus in a beautiful city. But still that doesn’t make UT a paradise that eludes the dangers of other cities. As the past months have shown, sexual assaults, violent crimes and gun threats do happen even on a small private college campus. Not to mention the petty crimes of stolen laptops and iPods.

A look through the campus crime log will show you the multiple crimes that happen every day on campus. Campus Security is kept busy, and the Tampa Police Department deals with other crimes in the local vicinity. Still, the crimes experienced at UT are just a microcosm of the crimes that occurs in the city of Tampa and other cities.

UT isn’t a gated community. Anybody can walk on our campus and commit a crime. The burglaries that happened in Plant Hall over the weekend show the price of having beautiful buildings with expensive items that are open to anyone. Because UT is that much more beautiful and historic, it will be a target for criminals, both from within and without. Let’s be honest. The students on this campus are probably more affluent than at other schools, and some are probably used to feeling more insulated and expect UT to provide that. Unfortunately, there are many entrances and many dark corners on campus.

When it was reported that a passing vehicle flashed a gun last month, that should be an alarm to all students. UT is simply not in the safest location of Tampa. We’re blocks from downtown.

The Minaret reported in spring 2006 that a house with 17 sex offenders is only a block on the other side of Kennedy. That’s only the beginning of Tampa’s sex culture. Tampa is a hot spot for the porn industry and not to mention the strip clubs on Kennedy and Dale Mabry.

With social communities like Hyde Park and Ybor City situated away from where many people in the city live, Tampa has to deal with DUI’s, an issue which the city is currently attempting to clean up. That still happens as in any city. Ybor City’s bars, clubs and location may conjure up images of late night dancing and local bands, but it’s those places where crime happens.

Just because downtown is small and UT is a small community on a river doesn’t mean that as students we don’t have to be aware.

We’re not saying that students aren’t being aware or saying anything is any student’s fault. We just want to make sure that everyone understands where they are living and that precautions should be taken. There’s some news even we don’t want to report.

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