COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Some Ohio State University students said they are starting the school year with safety concerns. Since the start of the semester three weeks ago, there have been several violent incidents near campus.
Most students said they feel safe on the campus side of High Street, but it’s when they cross to the other side that they feel unsafe.
“During the day. I feel fine, but especially at night, it’s a little bit nerve-racking,” freshman Sarah Mason said.
Mason said she loves her school and being on campus. However, she hopes the university takes note of the students’ calls for change.
“I know a ton of my friends are and can be worried about it sometimes, but I mean, if we keep posting about it, keep making people more aware and maybe we can make some difference in the world,” Mason said.
Riley Ciarletta is a senior at Ohio State. She said she feels like safety is getting worse around campus.
“I think the biggest thing that concerns me is that there is a news story every four days,” Ciarletta said.
On Aug. 18, an Ohio State wrestler was shot and seriously injured during a robbery near campus
Less than a week ago, Ohio State Police sent out a campus safety alert for an armed robbery on campus near dorms on West 10th Avenue.
Then this past Saturday, 77-year-old Emily Foster was fatally stabbed on Iuka Avenue in the University District. The stabbing happened in broad daylight at the same time people were leaving the OSU football game.
“It was game day, and I didn’t even know; none of my friends even knew, and it was like one block away from our house,” Ciarletta said.
Ciarletta and junior Cordell Rubio said what worries them most is the lack of communication from the university about these off-campus incidents.
“I would always get notifications whenever there was something like that going on, but this year, I haven’t received any,” Rubio said.
The students said they want to see more safety alerts and a bigger police presence on campus. They also say they would like to see Lyft ride share prices discounted again for students, so it is easier for them to afford.
Representatives from the university say they launched a community crime map in 2022, which shows off-campus crime reports from CPD. This platform allows users to sign up for daily, weekly or monthly email notifications about crime reports in their area.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said the city is making investments toward safety near campus.
“We’re going to remain committed to that,” he said. “I talked about this with the new incoming president, and we’re working closely with the safety director and the OSU Police Department because we need to make sure that every neighborhood is safe and campus is clearly one of our most important neighborhoods.”
Ginther said they’ve already invested in more lighting and community crime efforts around campus. He said he plans to work directly with the university’s newly selected president, Ted Carter, when he officially takes on the job.