Parking lot security becomes a campus concern


Lexi Loya

Full campus parking lot behind Pulliam Hall. Image by Lexi Loya.

Story by Brittney Diehm

Stolen cars, slashed tires and break-ins have been topics of discussion on campus this semester. Campus security officers are encouraging students to lock their cars and park in safe, well-protected areas.

Director of Campus Security Roger Hamilton has noticed break-ins and vandalism have increased noticeably this semester.

“I have actually been having the officers do extra patrolling in the parking lots,” Hamilton said. “If anyone is lurking in the parking lot, we check to see if the individual is the owner of the car.”

Many students continue to leave their vehicles unlocked, which can lead to valuables being stolen as well as vandalism.

Senior Lake Johnson recently had his car stolen. He immediately filed a police report, and the police contacted campus security to find any possible leads or other information.

“I don’t know of anyone else that has gotten their car stolen,” Johnson said. “But there have been plenty of people with lost items and their cars were locked.”

Johnson’s car was eventually recovered in Lawrence, although the case remains unsolved. He said he will do his best to lock it from now on.

Junior Delta Delta Delta sorority member KasiDee Cox has had two personal experiences with vandalism. The first incident came last year when her truck was parked in the dorm parking lot, and the second incident occurred last month when a tire was slashed.

“When my truck was parked at the NLC my tailgate was completely taken off,” Cox said. “It wasn’t stolen, but it was annoying because I had to find someone to put it back on. The second time, my tire was slashed during the weekend of the Maple Leaf Festival.”

Cox said there have been multiple instances when cars outside of the Delta Delta Delta house have been vandalized. She said that in past years, a stereo and speaker have been stolen, as well as bricks thrown through windshields.

Cox believes there is a lack of parking lot security that needs to be addressed.

“I definitely think these occurrences are due to a lack of campus security,” Cox said. “I think the school should be proactive in this issue because it’s my understanding that this has been going on for multiple years now, and I’m not really sure why nothing has been done to try to keep people from doing this.”

Johnson and Cox both suggested that cameras could be installed in order to catch perpetrators. However, a likely concern would be how these cameras would be paid for. Also, campus cameras would not solve parking security problems near Greek houses.

With or without security cameras, Baker University students need to be aware of where they are parking their cars as well as whether or not the car is locked.

“I try to park my truck underneath street lights most of the time just because I feel like it’s less likely to get messed with that way,” Cox said. “I’m also definitely more aware when it comes to locking my truck.”