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Poll: 82% UTA Students Don’t Feel Safe After Campus Robberies, Rapes

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ARLINGTON (CBS 11 NEWS) - Some students at UT Arlington say they are concerned about their safety.

Students polled say they don’t feel safe after recent rapes, robberies and thefts on campus.

The poll question on The Shorthorn’s website asks “Do you feel safe on campus?”

82% of students surveyed said they don’t feel safe.

The student newspaper asks a different poll question each week, but the opinion editor says this particular question hit a nerve.

“Based on the numbers alone, seems like there has been more attention given to that question,” says Johnathan Silver with The Shorthorn.

He admits the poll is unscientific.

This year alone there have been four reported rapes on campus, two of those cases were dropped.  Two remain under investigation.

There have also been a rash of cell phone robberies and thefts on campus.

“It’s kind of made me a little edgy,” says student Jesse Samaripa who has even changed his routine to stay safe.  “I drive, so I’m not walking here at night at all. I do make it a point not to walk at night.”

University police wouldn’t address the poll, but students say they’ve noticed an increase in patrols especially at night.

Kayleigh Bowers says just this week she noticed it.

“I was walking out alone. I was a little bit scared. It was dark outside. I made sure I had someone on the phone, and as I was walking out in the empty parking lot, there was a cop car sitting right there. It kind of took away from that unsafe feeling that I had,” says Bowers.

A spokesperson says the university is committed to providing a safe and secure environment.

Charges have been filed against several people arrested in connection with a recent cell phone robbery on campus.

The UT Arlington Police Department encourages students to follow these tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially after dark.
  • Walk in well-lighted areas.
  • Use the Maverick Safety Escort, a free service 7 p.m.-3 a.m. Sunday-Thursday. To request a security escort at any time, call 817-272-3381 or utilize a call box on campus.
  • Carry personal belongings in a backpack or similar container so your arms and hands are free at all times.
  • Never leave your personal property unsecured or unattended.