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Killing Fuels Safety Debate

By Aaron Belenky

The morning after Yngve K. Raustein '94 was stabbed to death along Memorial Drive, students around campus were in a state of shock and surprise over the loss of their classmate. Safety awareness across campus was heightened as students worried that they might also become crime victims unless more precautions are taken.

Campus Police and the MIT administration moved quickly to help students deal with Raustein's death, and to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future. Campus Police distributed posters around campus explaining the basic facts of the attack and reiterating familiar safety tips.

Anne P. Glavin, chief of Campus Police, spoke yesterday with residents of Baker House, where Raustein lived. She said that the amount of lighting along Memorial Drive would automatically be reviewed as a result of the murder. Whether any changes will occur would be determined after a review of current conditions and discussion of the real benefits of more lighting, she said.

Glavin also discussed Safe Ride, which transports students around campus and to living groups in Boston after dark. She told participants at the meeting that Safe Ride, generally considered a worthwhile service, could not become an overnight service.

John R. Tedrow '95 suggested that Safe Ride be improved to increase security. He cited long waiting times for pickups and equally long time periods to reach a destination as the major reasons why students do not use the service.

Glavin also asked that students talk about potential solutions, come to a consensus about what should be done, and be ready to discuss their suggestions with the administration.

Lighting petition circulated

A hastily-drawn petition for more campus lighting appeared in the doorways of the Student Center this morning. The Baker resident who started the petition declined to comment, and referred to the posters at Baker House which advised residents not to discuss the issue with the press.

Students seemed scared that such an event could happen so suddenly and unexpectedly. In response, they plan to be more safety-conscious, without becoming overly fearful.

Julie Higgins '96 was surprised to hear that a murder could happen on campus. She is usually very careful when going out at night, but might take extra precautions now. "Not much more is possible. A few more CPs around might help a little, but that's all," she added.

Ranjana Mitra '96 said she had thought she was relatively safe on campus, but now believes she had a false sense of security. She said the area seemed well lit and frequently patrolled by police, but she will now think twice before going out at night.

But not all students reacted with shock. Teldrow, who has lived in the Boston area for a long time, felt Friday's stabbing was just a random event, but that the location made it seem much more threatening. "If it had happened somewhere else in Boston, people wouldn't care that much", he said.

"I was surprised, but not totally shocked," said Ethan A. Fode '96. He explained that in a metropolitan area like Boston, muggings and murders will occur, but that it happened just off campus makes it seem scarier.