An emergency town hall meeting at Auraria was called March 10 to address the seemingly growing number of attacks on campus. The meeting was meant to inform students of what the campus is doing to protect them, and allowed students to voice their opinion.
There are an estimated 35,000 — 40,000 students, professors and other individuals on campus Monday-Thursday.
It was estimated about 100 people attended the town hall meeting co-hosted by the Auraria Police and the Student Government Association.
I wonder how many students actually knew about the event. No one was really talking about it in my classes, but when I talked to students around campus, most knew about the attacks. Few, if any, knew about the meeting.
The lack of participation leads me to believe there is a lack of communication among students, police officers and Metro officials. I understand most students on campus are usually in a hurry and many were simply too busy to attend the event, but there should have been more than 100 people. SGA President Andrew Bateman proposed solutions, but it seems Metro and the police are reacting to the violence on campus and fail to understand the larger problem.
People I have talked to around campus explained to me several incidents that prove a lack of police presence. There are several pockets on campus where students freely smoke weed, drink beer and who knows what else. Why are there places on campus that students feel confident enough to smoke and drink, without worry of consequences?
The area between North Classroom and the Tivoli seems to be very well patrolled, and I have seen cops pull over cars who illegally turned into the circle where busses idle. However, when I walk to the Light Rail station on Colfax the story is completely different. If I see a cop or RTD security guard I notice his presence — it’s unusual to see them around there.
The biggest question I have is about the reaction by school and police officials if there were a shooting on campus. What procedure is in place to contain the situation, when Colfax Avenue and Speer Boulevard are wide-open to public use?
Auraria’s urban setting may really be the problem. There are areas on the campus where anybody can walk around unnoticed and do what they please. Pedestrian traffic is heavy around Colfax and Speer, and cops have to deal with students, workers and homeless people.
Metro or the Auraria police needs to address the problems on campus in a pro-active approach to build a sense of safety of campus. If students are not safe on campus, parents will discourage them from attending our school and we will build a poor reputation.