Once again Oswego State officials are creating a false sense of security for the campus community. There should be no surprise as this issue was discussed in this very same spot just last week.
A week after a student who was living on campus was arrested for five misdemeanors, one of which included forcible touching, the incident was made known to the public after the Syracuse Post-Standard reported it. The administration never made a note of the event and never notified students that this occurred within their community. As of Thursday night, the student who allegedly committed these crimes was still living in the residence halls.
Other than a vaguely worded campus announcement from President Deborah F. Stanley on Sept. 8, nothing has been noted in regards to whether or not students of Oswego State should be concerned for their safety.
Lisa Evaneski, the associate dean of students and Title IX coordinator, has continuously back stepped from questions regarding the safety of students on this campus. Evaneski is part of the office that deals with students who commit crimes on and off campus, the Office of Student Conduct and Compliance, which Evaneski claims is now simply referred to as the Dean of Students Office. However, this does not have a page on the Oswego.edu website.
Last week, the office’s mission statement stated that their purpose was to educate “the campus community on standards of responsible citizenship in a diverse learning environment by providing meaningful and intentional educational opportunities.”
The absence of the page could be because of the change of name, but the point is mute. Repeatedly, the office formerly known as judicial affairs, conceals the results of their proceedings. Sometimes they claim that student privacy laws protect the information and other times they just say they are not allowed to discuss specific events.
Either way, something needs to change. Students have a right to know if their community is safe or not. If a student lives near another student who has allegedly committed a violent crime, they have the right to know. They should not have to find out a week later. Students need to know when a violent crime is committed on campus, and, in the past, announcements have been made regarding student safety. However, for some reason this fall semester has not seen the same respect to the students; just vague emails from an administration afraid to reveal something that may negatively impact their image.
A public image is not as important as student safety. Sure, 101 new cameras on campus may help promote a safer environment, but so would a warning that a dangerous student is on campus. At a time when college administrations are continually being investigated for their mishandling of campus crimes, one would think that Oswego State would like to make itself look better by taking a step in the right direction.