Student concerns over campus safety at UTC

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – UTC students have voiced concerns about personal safety in the wake of several recent crimes on campus that have made local headlines.

News 12 first learned of the concerns while covering another story on campus Wednesday night. At the time, several women approached News 12 about recent crimes on campus that caused many students to worry about their safety.

Thursday morning, News 12 visited the campus and spoke to other students who didn’t hold back when it came to expressing concerns over campus safety.

"Sometimes I leave at night and I’m concerned when I walking to my car," said UTC Student Julia Brown.

"I have a night class so that’s really concerning when I have to walk back because it’s dark. I do get really scared with everything that has happened," said UTC Student Megan Hollister.

In recent weeks, the campus has been the scene of two armed robberies, a sexual assault investigation, a rash of bicycle thefts and burglaries. Many students are keeping up with everything that has been reported.

"Every time we get a UTC alert on our phones, they’re always talking about it and of course there’s going to be concerns," said UTC Student Kristine Brown.

UTC police already patrol the campus, but recent crimes have forced administrators to seek additional help.

"We have increased the patrols by hiring off-duty city police officers in the last couple of weeks to increase the patrols so that students can feel safer. Just seeing the police cars will help them feel better," said UTC Spokesperson Chuck Cantrell.

During a conversation with Cantrell, News 12 learned that students who don’t feel safe walking to their car or class at night can call campus security and ask for a police escort.

Students who do feel safe tell News 12 there’s a good reason why they’re not too concerned.

"I live in the dorms. They’re locked each night so no one can get in. It doesn’t have a key," said UTC Student Rachel Peters.

"I lock my dorm every night; when I leave and what not," said UTC Student Logan Swop

According to school administrators, many of the crimes that have occurred on campus were not committed by students, but rather outsiders looking for trouble. Administrators also told News 12 a current sexual assault investigation involves a domestic situation and not some person targeting random women.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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