A task force aimed at reducing crime on the University of North Carolina's 17 campuses met for the first time Monday night at N.C. State University.
The newly-formed Campus Security Initiative invited the public to provide input on how to prevent sexual assaults and violent crime.
Participants said they'd like to see more education for students about the dangers of underage drinking, better communication with the parents of students and more initiatives to combat crime off campus.
At UNC Charlotte, a voluntary program starting in January will rate off-campus apartment complexes for their safety and security systems -- like the number of crimes recently reported to police and whether the complex has secured access systems and surveillance cameras. Initiatives like that could spread to other UNC schools.
N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson serves as co-chair of the initiative along with NC A&T Chancellor Harold Martin. Woodson said crime on the system's campuses is actually much lower than of the population in general.
"But that doesn't mean it's less important," Woodson said. "We take this very seriously and we want to make sure we are doing everything to ensure security and safety."
Students who attended the forum said, in general, they feel safe at N.C. State, but appreciated the effort to improve security nonetheless.
"I feel safe -- I do, personally, but you know, some people don't," student Cheyanne Hass said. "The girl I was sitting with said she doesn't feel safe unless she's with a lot of people, so I guess it depends on the person."
"I get text messages about any crimes that happen on campus, and we also have the blue light system," student Paul Nolan said. "During orientation, we had to program campus security numbers into our phone, so yeah, I do feel safe on campus."
The Campus Security Initiative is expected to hold more forums and release a crime prevention report sometime in April.
Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms.More>>
Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:43:09 GMT
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