Drew Petersen | Staff Writer

As the days grow warmer, criminal activity seems to be on the rise with thefts being the dominating issue. More and more students seem to be falling victim to preventable crimes right here within Century’s own parking lots by forgetting one simple thing: Lock your doors! Even if you don’t think you have anything worth stealing, you might just come outside to find your entire car missing.

College campuses, along with grocery stores, malls and movie theaters are great places for thieves to find easy prey as the high parking lot traffic makes it easy to blend in and most people are away from their cars for an extended period of time. This allows thieves the opportunity to wander around, look in windows and check for unlocked doors alongside most of us other people who are too busy with our own lives to even notice.

This recent surge in criminal activity has prompted a campus wide email from Mark Holper, the Director of Public Safety & Administrative Services here at Century. Here’s what Holper had to say:

Dear Century Campus Community; spring is here (at least I think it is…) and we are approaching that final push toward the end of the term. As the lingering effects of our long winter combine with added stress, we have started seeing an increase in security-related activity on campus.

This past Wednesday afternoon [April 16], we had a car stolen from the west campus parking lot. Unrelated, we had a student in a vehicle on the east campus parking lot who was preparing for an exam by drinking alcohol. We have also recently experienced several stress-related emergency calls for assistance.

It seems a good time to reiterate some basic steps we all can take to help insure a safe and welcoming campus environment. Our community members serve as the college’s first line of defense in reporting dangerous or suspicious activities and preventing thefts.

Please don’t leave your office or valuables unsecured when you are not there, even if only for a short time.  Remember to not leave valuables in plain sight in your parked vehicle. And always lock your car doors!

Learning how to manage your own stress, as well as being aware of stress in others, is an important part of your work/school experience. Century offers many resources that can assist in stress management, including our Counseling and Health Services offices.

We ask that all campus members be aware of suspicious activity and contact a college employee or campus security (651-747-4000 or campus ext. 4000) immediately if you observe suspicious activity. Thank you, Mark Holper, Director of Public Safety & Administrative Services.

Don’t be a target and let yourself fall victim to the criminal underbelly preying on our community. The best way to avoid these situations is to be proactive. Lock your doors, hide your valuables and report suspicious activity. Remember that most crimes are that of opportunity. Criminals want to be in and out quickly so they are less likely to be caught. If we all work together, we can eliminate the opportunities of theft here on campus.

As Holper reminds us, keep an eye out for stress and not just in yourself but your fellow classmates as well. If you feel yourself or notice someone else needing help, feel free to ask. Most professors are flexible if something comes up, like if you need an extra day or two to get an assignment done or maybe just need someone to talk to.

Most of Century’s professors have been around the block a few times and seen almost everything. They are a good resource to a wealth of knowledge and insight. Just be proactive about your needs and ask ahead of time. It’s much easier to deal with a situation before it becomes a major issue and most problems can be sorted out by an email to your professors.

Enjoy the warm weather. It’s finally here and after the long, cold, depressing winter we’ve had, the sun should be relieving our stress, not causing more of it. So be safe out there and stay diligent by starting small and remembering to lock your doors.