The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.
The publication of the Annual Campus Security Report and Fire Safety Report signifies a positive change in how Murray State keeps students informed on crime in their area.
Transparency is important for feeling connected with the University and it creates a sense of trust between students and who is protecting them.
We know what is going on at our school and we are not kept in the dark.
However, this relationship between Public Safety and Emergency Management and students is not solely defined by the Murray State Police Department.
There are responsibilities that we, as students, have in order to keep this line of communication running smoothly.
Multiple University policies are highlighted in the report, which stress our responsibility to know them and follow them.
Knowing the policies that are given to us routinely is the first step to ensure that we follow them. We cannot pretend we don’t know the Drug-Free Campus/Drug-Free Workplace Policy. It is given to us and is stated clearly.
We cannot complain about the parking policy if the details and stipulations are a couple of clicks away.
The published report shows us the wave of alcohol-related crime that comes with Murray’s changed social and legal attitudes towards packaged liquor.
The amount of reported liquor violations quintupled in 2012, but this may be for two different reasons.
We are either more comfortable with calling the police to report deviant behavior or we are simply taking advantage of the city’s relaxed liquor laws.
Either way, crime tables and published reports are providing students with a strong sense of insight and gives us a point to draw conclusions from our behaviors.
This mutualistic relationship with Public Safety is not a new idea and it is not exclusive to Murray State.
The role of law enforcement has changed.?Police now see regular citizens as helpful informants. We are an extra set of eyes and ears.
The routine information provided to Murray State students by Public Safety can be largely attributed to the Michael Minger Act, which requires postsecondary institutions to make certain disclosures concerning policies, crime on campus and campus fires.
Since Minger’s death in the 1998 Hester Residential College fire, the Murray State Police Department redefined its relationship with the student body, wanting to keep us aware of the crime and fire incidents going on around us.
This is why we received emails regarding the notorious “Murray Strangler” and why we were kept updated on the possible gun violence committed in the Regents?Residential College parking lot last year.
Our emergency services have evolved from a policy that required silence amidst times of emergency to a policy that insists students know what is going on at all times.
Now that we are being kept informed about happenings on campus, we should take advantage of that right.
We should keep calling the police when it is necessary or an emergency.
Just because students don’t have a duty or obligation to report crimes or fire, it should be a way of keeping the Murray State community and campus law enforcement in sync with each other.
Police departments have a limited amount of eyes on the streets.
As the primary inhabitants of Murray State’s campus, we should do everything we can to keep our school safe and provide the assistance we are capable of. Our Public Safety may depend on it.