Don’t take the ride, avoid the risk

By Matthew Saunders

One of the biggest problems at Cal Poly Pomona is the situation of not enough parking spots. Students have tried many creative attempts to beat the traffic at CPP; However, it seems as if one specific tradition is catching on: Students arriving late to campus are offering to give rides to students leaving for the day in an attempt to take their parking spots.

The danger in accepting these rides is that, in most cases, students do not know the driver. The only thing these students do know about the person behind the wheel is that he or she allegedly wants to give a student leaving for the day a ride to the parking spot in exchange for taking it.

According to CPP’s “The Jeanne Clery Disclosure Of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and Fire Safety Report 2014,” crime at the university has significantly decreased, but vehicle theft and burglary remain high in numbers: 21 reported cases of on-campus vehicle theft in the 2013-14 academic year, and 23 reported on campus cases of burglary in the 2011-12 academic year. The report shows a decreasing trend in burglary, but an increase in vehicle theft.

However, these statistics do not suggest that CPP students are not to be trusted. According to CPP’s home website, the school is home to over 22,000 students, both undergraduate and graduate. Taking this into consideration, it’s safe to assume the average student will not steal a car.

Assumptions, however, will not bring down the crime rate. The most problematic factor to the vehicle theft situation is the university’s location.

CPP is located within two miles of both the 10 and 57 Freeways. This proximity makes it fairly easy for criminals to get as far away from the crime scene as possible. In addition, University Drive runs right through the campus, which makes it easier for criminals to escape. Any stranger could possibly drive from either Temple Avenue or Kellogg Drive onto University Drive and offer rides to unsuspecting students.

University Police does have police officers that drive around campus to patrol the area and ensure safety, but due to the school’s location, the possibility of a dangerous stranger driving through the school remains high.

Although reported incidents of kidnapping, assault, battery and rape have been relatively low in the past few years, according to the aforementioned report, it still does not dismiss the possibility of these crimes.

All CPP students should take precautions. Thankfully, the campus has been relatively safe since the start of 2015, and it is in everyone’s best interest to keep it that way for the remainder of the year and beyond. Students should utilize the buddy system and inform friends and family of their approximate locations as often as possible throughout the day to ensure safety.

The next time a student is offered a ride to his or her car, the student should politely decline the offer for the sake of his or her safety.

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Sungah Choi / The Poly Post

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