Concern over campus safety has taken hold at eastern Idaho's Ricks College, and the LDS-owned school has taken precautions.
"We don't have serious problems, but we have a lot of little problems, such as petty theft," Tom Leman of the Rexburg Police Department's campus division said. "And I can't categorically say we've never had a rape on campus. We've never had one reported, but rape is inherently underreported."But in the past year, campus police started a nighttime women's escort service and installed a $20,000 emergency outdoor telephone system. They also are planning to extend their patrols to 24 hours a day next fall.
"They're justified in spending money to make things safer," Mindi Hullinger, a student from Orem, said. "You never know when things will happen. I don't think there's a big crime problem, but who's to say there won't be a problem in the future?"
The escort service was initiated last fall by the Sigma Gamma Chi fraternity, whose members volunteered to escort women who worked late on campus back to their apartments, and was taken over by the campus police later. They get about a dozen calls a week.
And the emergency telephones - one-button modules that connect directly to the campus police office - were installed last month after being in the planning stage for two years. So far, no one has made an emergency call on the telephones.
"I'm a firm believer in employing preventive measures to preclude problems, and the administration is supportive of that," Leman said.
Sophomore Alane Bentley of Lacey, Wash., believes the steps are necessary because many problems have gone unreported.
"You can't just shut your eyes to problems because this is a private church school," she said.