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Posted on Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

University of Michigan students' safety doesn't end at campus limits

By Letters to the Editor

( reporter) Kyle Feldscher would have you believe that laptop safety is the only safety issue students at the University of Michigan care about. (Re: U-M police take questions from public at first in promised series of meetings) Mr. Feldscher seemed to have missed the entire discussion about the relationship between on campus and off campus safety- and the bothersome revelation that the University does not inform students as to off campus crimes that involve students.

It turns out that the Department of Public Safety deals solely with crimes that take place on campus property. If a student takes a single step off campus and becomes the victim of a crime, it is no longer the responsibility of the university to even so much as inform the student body as to what happened. Student safety, for reasons we do not understand, doesn’t transcend the campus. What results, is a false sense of security.

But the fact is, student security is not an on or off campus issue. Over 50 percent of University of Michigan students live off campus. Students study off campus, they eat and drink off campus, and they live off campus -- their world does not end where the physical campus ends. The campus police exist to protect students, so we are asking them to protect students by informing students.

If the University Police do not have the capacity to alert students of crimes that are occurring to students off campus, this needs to be clearly stated and students need to be aware that they are not receiving the full story. The campus police department should, at a minimum, keep statistics of crimes that happen to students in the Ann Arbor area and send this data to students on a regular basis.

University of Michigan students are concerned with big issues. They are concerned about their physical safety and want to hear the full story. Unless the University police commit to informing the student population about crimes as they happen to students, we will not be able to improve the state of safety on or off campus.

No one wants to have their laptop stolen, but there are other more pressing issues that were discussed at that meeting, including the fact that no student wants to feel unsafe where he or she lives, regardless of where that is.

Arielle Fleisher and Emily Greenberg
Ann Arbor


Kai Petainen

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 6:32 a.m.

ironic -- i was just speaking of the arb and the area around it. a crime alert was just issued. Date of Incident: Dec. 3, 2011 about 1:30am Location: Geddes Ave. near entrance to Nichols Arboretum (near Oxford Rd) Offense: Assault Summary: A student reported that the previous night, he had been assaulted by several males as he was walking near the Arboretum entrance. He sought medical treatment around 9pm and reported the incident to police. Suspects (as described by witnesses): Five to seven males -- no other information available at this time

Kai Petainen

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 4:14 a.m.

i'd give the DPS some thanks, but since i've mentioned it before, i won't repeat myself. instead i'll mention about police lines. there has been a bit of talk about police lines... and where police go and don't go. ann arbor has a line that runs through... it's a train track. on one side is the city, on the other side is the university. if someone does something bad in the arboretum, that goes to the campus police. if someone does something bad on the other side of the train track, across from the arb, that goes to the city police. if someone does something bad on the train track, then the train track police need to be notified. but if someone does something bad in the arb, on the train track and across from the arb... well... that is confusing. ann arbor has a bunch of these 'police lines' but, what is important... is that when I call 911, its up to 911 to figure out who answers the call.

The Picker

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 2:15 a.m.

I'm not sure the statement that if you take one step off campus they are not responsible, is completely accurate. I'm not sure, but campus cops are usually deputized county sheriffs, So the county is their beat. In any event if they see a crime in progress they will respond. As to your notification, get real and grow up !!!!!!!!!!


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.

"the county is their beat." I don't think so. They may have jurisdiction off campus but I would say campus is their beat.


Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 11:21 p.m.

When I was in college, I never expected the college police department to tell me whether a student had been the victim of an off-campus crime. And I lived off campus for much of my college life in a city that had a much more lively, shall we say, street life. Since the authors of the letter are aware of, perhaps they could read's police items to take the responsibility of informing themselves of the goings on in town.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 12:51 a.m.

Your suggestion to read the police items on this website would not necessarily be of much timely help. After the last sexual assault of which I am aware in town, it took more than two and a half days to report it ( <a href=""></a> ).

Tex Treeder

Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 10:20 p.m.

1. &quot;It turns out that the Department of Public Safety deals solely with crimes that take place on campus property.&quot; I'm not sure why this particular point is a problem for the authors. Police departments' jurisdictions have distinct limits, which is why you don't see Ohio state troopers pulling over speeders in Ann Arbor. I can only imagine the authors' point of view if DPS officers arrested a student who was at home in California, for example. 2. &quot;If a student takes a single step off campus and becomes the victim of a crime, it is no longer the responsibility of the university to even so much as inform the student body as to what happened.&quot; A more subtle point, to be sure. But do other police departments tell the residents of other jurisdictions about crimes committed there? Should we now expect the Kalamazoo PD to tell UM students that a student was mugged in Kalamazoo? Obviously not. Nor do we expect the city government of Ann Arbor to report to all Ann Arborites that a crime was committed against one of their fellow residents, either here in Ann Arbor or elsewhere.

Tex Treeder

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 12:46 a.m.

I'll admit, I hadn't heard of the Clery Act. Here's a link: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Has DPS failed to fulfill this requirement? I'm not saying they have or haven't, since I don't know, but if you have evidence, please tell. Judging from the article above, the authors were unaware of this law as well. However, that doesn't change my point #1: jurisdiction limits. Whether DPS has failed to live up to point #2 remains to be seen.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 12:30 a.m.

There is a federal law known as the Clery Act, which requires Universities to notify students of certain crimes committed near the campus as well as within the jurisdiction of the campus police. If you have a beef with that then talk to your congressman and senator.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

If you have a false sense of security, it's solely because you are not looking out for yourself. It is not the University's responsibility to determine where each individual lives and provide a full report as to what goes on in that area. Sometimes I think we're going too far, and raising an entirely helpless generation. If it's not on their twitter feed, they are helpless to figure anything out for themselves.


Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 11:42 p.m.

If A2 .com would just tweet them all the news there would be no problem. The other solution? Stay on campus!


Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 11:41 p.m.

You nailed it Macabre with one simple sentence! &quot;If it's not on their twitter feed, they are helpless to figure anything out for themselves.&quot;


Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

The Chief was also asked about the under reporting of sexual assaults. The police statistics say that there were 12 assaults in 2010 but SACUA was discussing 41 sexual assaults reported on campus. No one could explain the discrepancy. Are there assaults that are reported to the University that are not reported to the police? Who decides not to report it to the police?