The onslaught of crime at the beginning of the school year had the Bradley community, including parents, on edge.
This is especially true when Bradley does not keep parents informed, said Bradley parent Sue Chrystal.
“I have not received any notification, I believe, of the [crime] occurrences,” she said. “I think the Bradley police should send something to parents to inform them of what has happened and what measures they are taking to stop it and protect our children.”
Bradley parent Elise Zwicky said she had the same opinion.
“When our daughter was a freshman, I had signed up to receive email alerts, but for some reason I have stopped receiving them,” she said. “I’m not sure if I needed to sign up again at the beginning of the year or why I stopped receiving them… I don’t believe that as a parent, I have received any information directly from the university about the crimes that have occurred.”
Sending a child to college for the first time can be extremely stressful for parents, especially when the area around the campus is known for crime.
“I am very concerned for my daughter and any student’s safety,” said Chrystal. “It is very unnerving to be on campus and not feel safe. It is unusual for these crimes to occur during the day, on campus, and in parking lots of sororities. I am not happy that during the day, students need to be on guard and are scared to travel alone.”
Chrystal was referring to the incident that occurred in broad daylight where unidentified persons stole two purses from a car parked in a sorority parking lot. The owners of the car had just run inside for a few moments and returned to find their belongings missing.
“I’ve always worried about crime in the area surrounding Bradley, but I didn’t discourage my daughter from going there, because I do believe the university is providing her an excellent education,” said Zwicky.
Parents also have little knowledge of the efforts Bradley has made to combat the crime wave. Those who have previous knowledge were local parents who had read it in the Peoria Journal Star, said Zwicky.
“I would hope that the campus police department and the administration are taking it seriously and doing everything they can to combat it,” said Zwicky. “I would like to see them do more to keep parents informed about crime and the steps they’re taking to combat it.”
Despite the lack of awareness, President of the Bradley University Parents’ Association Board of Directors Dave Berkow said Bradley is doing all in its power to keep its students safe.
“As a parent of two BU students, whose St. James apartment was the locale for the last incident, I was and am very concerned about the recent events,” Berkow said. “I can tell you that from President Glasser on down, everyone in the BU Administration does not take any of this lightly.”
The Parents’ Board also invited university Chief of Police Brian Joschko to speak at the most recent meeting to update parents on the troubling incidents. Berkow said Joschko assured the parents that the university police’s main focus is to prevent serious crime.
In addition to increasing patrols near the St. James complex and campus as a whole, university police plan to utilize security cameras on top of the “blue light” safety phones in an effort to respond to potential crime areas as quickly as possible, or even before an incident occurs said Berkow. Bradley has also formed the Student Advisory Committee to gain student perspective on the matter.
“The Board was happy to hear of the level of attention that was focused on this issue by the Administration, and I can tell you that we will continue to monitor the progress, and speak up if additional concerns arise,” Berkow said.