Letter to the Editor: UConn must install cameras in student parking lots

Dear Editor,

I wish I was graduating this year, but I’m not. A year and a half ago, I, a gay student, was the victim of a hate crime on campus at the hands of three fellow students and several bystanders. When reported, UCPD told me it would be difficult to prove because the University does not have any cameras in the parking lots. No charges were levied against the perpetrators and it took me calling the Office of Diversity and Equity twice for an investigation to take place, which did, thankfully, lead to one perpetrator being punished. At the start of this school year, the day I moved back onto campus, I found derogatory (homophobic) remarks written on my car and, when I called UCPD, I was told not much could be done because there are no cameras on campus.

Now, as I hear about fellow student’s tires being stolen the response from the University seems to be that they cannot do much because there are no cameras on campus. It was bad enough to hear that when it was just me but now I am forced to wonder how many times UConn has said they couldn’t do anything about issues regarding a student’s safety because they didn’t have, for example, have cameras covering the parking lots around our dorm buildings.

I had to take a leave of absence the semester I became a victim of hate on campus; I lost credit for that semester and will be here for an extra year to account for the classes I lost. As a result, I will, in total, have paid about $40,000 to the University by the time I graduate that I wouldn’t have paid if UConn were as safe as it should be given the overall caliber of this school. I write this letter with a simple request of the University; please put that $40,000 towards installing cameras in student parking lots. Spending billions on new buildings is only a good idea if your students feel safe enough to leave their dorms.

Sincerely,
Jacob A Griffith Gardner
Horticulture ‘18