The arrest of a man earlier this month in connection with a sexual assault on campus last spring has brought the issue of campus safety to the minds of some here. But while New Orleans is well-known for its high crime volume, national statistics indicate Dillard is relatively safe when compared to other U.S. campuses.
A Sept. 2 report on nola.com reported Joshua Bond, 19, was booked in connection with the April 2 rape of a DU student and that he was under investigation for another assault also on campus. The report said the victim in the April 2 incident said she had invited him to her room to watch television. His bond was set at $35,000, and sheriff’s records indicate he no longer is being held in jail.
Kiana Stewart, a junior mass communication major from Dallas, said, “I have felt a need of extra supervision around campus. The recent burglaries and rape allegations on campus have made me more cautious of my surroundings. I think Dillard can hire more officers to be active on campus.”
Tevon Blair, president of the Student Government Association and a junior mass communication major from Chicago said, campus police need to build a culture of trust.
“To ensure and increase safety for students, DUPD should start by building a relationship with the students and building a culture where the students can trust the decisions and presence of DUPD officers,” Blair said.
Sexual assault on college campuses has been a trending topic in recent years as more reports at various schools are made public. Just recently, on Sept. 21, actor and U.N. Ambassador Emma Watson joined with HeForShe in a commitment to end sexual assault on college campuses. Watson said in a speech at U.N. headquarters that every student needs to know they are safe from sexual violence.
According to collegefactual.com, New Orleans ranks far above average in overall crime compared with other towns and cities nationwide, making it potentially unsafe and more likely students at Dillard University may fall victim to a crime when venturing off-campus. Even in low-crime areas, students still run the risk of encountering violence and unsafe situations.
Even so, an analysis of government data by American-school-search.com reported Dillard University is a generally safe place to be. American School Search gives this school a “B-” on safety. Dillard University earned an overall crime rating of C+ when on-campus, city, and regional crime against here was compared to other schools nationwide. Collegefactual gave the campus a “B” but the city an “F+” and the region a “D+,” for an overall grade of “C+,” which it called “better than average.”
Colleges.niche.com reported Dillard as No. 6 safest of 20 colleges in Louisiana, ahead of No. 8 University of New Orleans, No. 9 Southern University at New Orleans, No. 12 Loyola and No. 16 Tulane.
That doesn’t mean students should not be vigilant. For every 1,000 women attending a college or university, 35 incidents of rape occur each academic year. Furthermore, One in five will experience rape or attempted rape in their four-year college term, according to a 2000 report funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Student safety on Dillard University’s campus should never be compromised, nor any campus, as a matter of fact. Let’s all do our part by being alert.
Some areas up for discussion:
- What policy is in place to protect or help students who are victims are crime?
- How secure are dorm rooms and other buildings?
- What penalties are in place for students accused or convicted of crime?
- Are self-defense or safety classes available?