For the second time this year, the Bradley Bubble has been popped, although this time a student was directly affected.
Sophomore Kelsey McClellan was robbed on her way home from the Cullom-Davis Library late Monday night.
A man, who police haven’t yet been able to arrest, grabbed her backpack, shoved her to the ground and raced off in his minivan.
This incident no doubt struck way too close to home for most of us. Whereas last semester’s police chase ended on campus by chance, this man made a conscious decision to invade campus, as witnesses reported his van sitting in the area for a while leading up to the incident.
Then, he approached a student who was sober and walking home after a night of studying, stole her bag and pushed her to the ground.
Every one of us has heard the warnings of late-night wandering into the neighborhoods surrounded campus. Many of us have headed those warnings.
But the thought of needing an escort to cross campus at midnight on a Monday is alarming, to say the least.
University Police Chief Dave Baer told the Scout an incident like this hasn’t happened within the campus boundaries in more than 20 years.
Does it happen nearby? Sure. But on campus? Not really. Or not lately, at least.
This has some students questioning the level of safety on campus and questioning the university’s priorities.
And while we’re hesitant to tell people not to worry about their safety, because they obviously should, occurrences like this are rare.
Blaming the University Police for not stopping it is naive.
They can’t be expected to be in all places at all times, and that unfortunately means that, on occasion, robberies and other crime will hit closer to home than we, and they, would like.
We can’t really imagine what was running through McClellan’s head as she was mugged, so we won’t pretend we do.
However, we are thankful that Bradley’s actual campus will likely remain safe, despite this likely-isolated incident.
It’s understandable that some want to question the university’s priorities. That’s the natural reaction when things like this happen.
That said, we would encourage those of you who feel so inclined to actually work with the administration.
Incidents like this are awful for all those involved, but they’re usually what spark the lines of communication that create change.