Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
Shelsea Ortiz, Crestiad Special
Cedar Crest College is the safest four year college in the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) area according to the data compiled by College Navigator.
While the chief officers of the LVAIC schools meet quarterly to talk about safety issues among their campuses, Chief Mark Vitalos, the head of security at Cedar Crest College is mostly silent.
“I sit back and listen,” Vitalos said because according to him “we don’t have those issues here at Cedar Crest.”
In 2011 there was one arrest on campus at Cedar Crest College which was a liquor law violation located in the residence halls. There were also three criminal offences on campus all of which occurred in the residence halls.
That is low compared to Lehigh University which had 178 arrests on campus which consisted of both drug and liquor law violations. One hundred seven of those took place in the residential housing. There were also 12 criminal offences that occurred on campus, 11 of which occurred in the residence halls.
Roxanne Addino, a senior double majoring in dance and communication, has lived on campus for four years, and has never encountered a safety issue.
“I feel very save living on the Cedar Crest Campus,” said Addino. “But Cedar Crest could do something more with the lighting on the quad.”
Chief Vitalos said the safety of the campus is partially due to the fact that no public roads run through campus. At universities such as Lehigh and Kutztown these public roads exist, causing the public to contribute to the crime statistics
“I credit the campus community; they help us prevent crimes which also helps keep the campus safe,” said Vitalos.
Though many students credit the safety to campus police. Chelsea Seibert, a freshman commuter, said “I feel safe. I always see the campus police around.”
A Japanese student in the adult education program, Ayoko Iwata, agreed that having the officers around all the time helps in her feelings of safety.
Students who live on campus also feel safe because “they hear the sound of keys,” when the campus security walks through the residence halls at night said Vitalos.
Stephanie Tompkins, a junior double majoring in new media and art who also lives on campus, said “the campus has been very protective of our students. Campus police patrols in the residents halls all day and all night. I have seen them even at 2 a.m.”
Tompkins stated that she has been in an uncomfortable situation here on campus, and the college police did everything in their power to make her feel safe as soon as possible.
But sometimes student reporting and the presence of campus police is not enough. Staying in well-lit areas, not being distracted by electronic devices, carrying your keys, and planning ahead are all tips when walking on and off campus.
“You should always be aware of your surroundings,” said Vitalos. “Don’t travel alone, strength is in numbers.”