Campus experienced five incidents of armed robbery since Dec. 3. After these incidents, there was major uproar from parents, students, staff and Peoria residents about the degree of safety on the Hilltop.
The university, under pressure from these groups, responded quickly.
University President Gary Roberts announced in his message to the parents and students on Dec. 30 that the administrative team, City of Peoria leaders and the Bradley University Police Department met over the break to discuss campus safety. They discussed an additional position to aid with campus safety. They also extended the hours of the Hilltop Safety Cruiser.
It was indicative that safety measures were installed.
In the same message, Roberts also wrote “While nobody ‘deserves’ to be the victim of crime and a victim is never ‘to blame,’ it would be wise for everyone to avoid making themselves an easy target.”
But you can take all the quick and right actions and still send the wrong message.
“Don’t be easy prey” is a phrase that baffled campus when it was distributed on posters throughout campus. This poster is meant to inform students about the preventative actions they can take to lower the risk of crime such as not walking alone in the dark and being aware of their surroundings.
This phrase headlining the poster is not only inappropriate, but distasteful on the part of the university and BUPD.
Both the phrase on the posters and Roberts’ message allude to victim- blaming. Although it can be helpful to
know how to take safety measures, the term “easy prey” is not the appropriate description, and is very insulting to the many students who were victims of a very serious crime. Parents who visit campus don’t want to think of their children as “prey,” and they shouldn’t.
It is good to be aware of actions students can take for their safety, but they should not be held accountable for being “easy prey.” Crime can happen anywhere, at any time and to anyone. Some of these robberies happened right in front of student residences or while walking to or from vehicles.
The Scout believes the poster put up by the university and BUPD had the right intentions, but needs to be taken down.