Violent crimes near campus are not an issue that Florida A&M University can directly control — or fix. But students are beginning to raise concerns about their safety while attending events close to campus.
Bianca Bryce, a third-year architecture student, said that dealing with college is complex, and the last thing students should have to worry about is their safety on campus.
“College is already hard enough,” she said. “The last thing we should be worried about is our safety.”
FAMU’s campus is wide open, which can give anyone easy access to the university, she added.
“I feel that FAMU’s campus is too open to the public,” she said. “It is easy for anyone to have access to the campus, even where students reside.”
With this issue in the air, it begs the question whether FAMU’s Police Department will implement any new safety protocols to help keep students safe during and after school hours.
FAMU Police Chief Calloway did not respond to an email.
The FAMU area and other parts of Tallahassee have experienced an increase in violent crimes since the new year. This has been an ongoing issue that does not seem to end.
Many different types of crimes occurred in Tallahassee over the last month. Some of the crimes include a murder suspect on the run, armed robberies, accidental shootings that led to manslaughter, weapons and drug trafficking, aggravated assaults and a shooting, according to WCTV records, a local news source for Tallahassee.
According to the Tallahassee News Report, with a crime rate of 39 per one thousand residents, Tallahassee has one of the highest crime rates in Florida on a per capitol basis, according to the Tallahassee News Report.
Event planner Christian Aristilde said that despite the increase in violent crimes near campus, there is only so much the promotional teams can do to help keep everyone safe.
“My promotion team, Winners Circle, along with others like DreamTeam, C’est La Vie, and New Era Hot Boyz, are committed to providing a safe environment to party in,” he said. “We strongly advise everyone to go home after the club instead of loitering in the parking lot. We cannot control someone else’s irresponsible behavior, but we can help each other stay safe.”
As a college student studying criminal justice at FAMU, Aristilde is worried about his safety because of frequent after-party violence and his job title.
“It has gotten so bad, to the point where the mentality is ‘step or get stepped on,’” Aristilde said. “I came to Tallahassee to earn a degree and enjoy my youth, but I cannot even enjoy it without something going off.”