Bliss from ignorance is overrated

Recently, a number of violent incidents have taken place on our campus, from armed muggings in the alleyway behind Iggy’s to an assault in a women’s bathroom.
There’s no doubt that living in an urban campus in Midtown St. Louis comes with its share of risks. In attending a University in an urban environment, each student, whether he or she realizes it, accepts the fact that it comes with elevated crime statistics.
This much, we realize and accept. With that, we have to take into account that that also makes it a more difficult job for our security personnel here at Saint Louis University, who do their best to keep students safe, but simply can’t be present everywhere, 24 hours a day.
However, we do take issue with the notification system.
If a student has been attacked in Xavier Hall, we want to know about it when it happens, not 20 hours after the fact, as was the case this week. As a newspaper, we appreciate a need to check facts. But when there are still students in the building when it happens and potentially other students who could cross paths with the suspect in the meantime, we have a right to know something has happened as soon as Department of Public Safety can talk to the victim and then type it up in an email. Send us later updates, if need be, as the investigations progress. We have a right to know so we can be on the lookout ourselves. Not only that, when reporting a crime on campus, we want to know all the details, particularly if there was a threat against a student’s life.
In addition, in January, DPS notified students of one mugging, but then neglected to send out another email about a second mugging. Under their reasoning, since the suspect had been apprehended, there was no threat to the community and so students didn’t need to know.
So we have to wonder, how many armed robberies or other crimes have been taking place right outside our doors all these years with none of us any the wiser, simply because DPS felt that catching the suspect negates our need to know?
Ignorance may be bliss, as the saying goes. Yet we’d still rather know what’s happening around our campus when it happens around our campus, regardless of whether the suspects have been apprehended, and regardless of whether the details might be unpleasant to our not-so-young ears.