Be responsible to avoid violence

Violent crimes aren’t common on campus because of our nonviolent Quaker heritage, but off campus, standards of nonviolence aren’t upheld.

Crimes tend to go unnoticed on campus because of the Guilford bubble, which allows students to feel safe. However, it is important to remember the world outside of campus.

There are certain places off campus that I’m not comfortable going to anymore because of the violence that occurred there over the past semester. The Hodgins Retreat apartment complex is one of those places.

Hearing about fights breaking out in a place so close to campus where some of my friends live is nerve-racking to me.

The Greensboro area actually has high crime rates compared to other areas in North Carolina with the Guilford College zone being one of the most dangerous in Greensboro.

Crime rates in Greensboro have grown the past couple of years. The chance of being a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 171.

“It’s frightening,” said first-year Victoria Saraldi. “I want to feel safe where I go to college, and it’s easy to forget that it’s still dangerous outside the Guilford bubble.”

Many students including myself feel safer staying on campus as opposed to going off campus for parties. I would rather deal with Public Safety than police if something were to happen wherever I was.

“I want to be able to go out downtown and not feel like I need to bring a guy friend to act like a body guard,” said Saraldi.

Being at a party where a fight broke out was a scary and unforgettable experience that changed my perspective. I didn’t have control over what other people were doing, and  I didn’t know most of them because they didn’t go to Guilford.

I figured I would be safe because I was still near campus and I always feel safe there, but I was wrong.

My dad encourages me to carry pepper spray around and is constantly sending me articles about fights on campuses around the country.

I used to think he was over reacting and that fights didn’t happen at Guilford because it was such a small community. Since being here though, I have learned I should take my dad more seriously.

Crimes can happen anywhere to anybody. If someone is under the influence, the chance of something happening is even more likely.

It’s easy to think, “Oh, it won’t happen to me, I’m only walking a little ways alone.” In reality, it only takes one time.

Although it is difficult to propose a way to fix crime rates, there are ways to be prepared.

“You can’t be responsible for other people; you can only be responsible for yourself,” my dad always tells me.

By taking necessary precautions such as always being with people you know when you go out, staying  close to campus and using good sense, you can avoid dangerous situations.