Months After Murder, Few Take PrecautionsBy Michael A. Saginaw
Two months after the murder of Yngve K. Raustein '94, most students who used to travel alone around campus at night still do so. However, students are using A Safe Ride, the campus safety shuttle, far more than ever before.
Most students feel that Raustein's murder was a highly unusual event which does not warrant any extra precautions. "You can't expect it to happen ever again. It didn't affect me at all," said William G. Zeng '94.
"I don't feel threatened. I think the campus is a safe place. I haven't changed a single thing," said Daniel D. Hurda '95.
Generally, students in classes which require lab work have not changed the hours they go to their labs. "It's too inconvenient to change," said Jack N. O. Holt '93.
However, many students said they now try to be more alert and often feel a bit nervous and uncomfortable. "I think people feel afraid," said Doris L. Lee '94, expressing a view shared by many students.
Some students have have made an extra effort to be safe. For example, a few weeks ago Darrell A. Fruth '94 was at Dewey Library when it closed. "I knew two people who were leaving and we saw another person who was also leaving. I got together with them and we all walked back together," he said.
Other students said they try to avoid dark places at night. "I'm scared now to go through Killian Court at night," said Marcie R. Black '94.
The MIT Campus Police are encouraging students to travel around campus inside of buildings when possible. "It's a longer route, but we think it's worth it," said Anne P. Glavin, chief of campus police.
"Our role is to get the word out, to let people know the risks of criminal victimization. The key is to let students know the facts, and then it's up to them to decide whether or not they want to take precautions," Glavin continued.
But students resent the inconvenience of having to go out of their way to avoid dangerous situations. "It doesn't seem right that we have to be afraid on our own campus," Fruth said.
The one major change students have made is to use A Safe Ride in greater numbers than ever before. "The grand total number of people who used A Safe Ride last year was 25,000. This year, we saw a definite upswing in ridership in the aftermath of the Raustein situation. So far this year, 44,686 have used Safe Ride. Beginning in early December, we hope to double the number of Safe Ride vans. We feel that this will cause even more people to use Safe Ride," Glavin said.
Meanwhile, fresh flowers and a newspaper article about Raustein's death mark the spot in front of Hayden Memorial Library where the junior from Norway was murdered. MIT continues to raise money for the aeronautics and astronautics prize which has been announced in memory of Raustein, a former student in that department. In addition, MIT may also plant a tree near the site of Raustein's murder as a living memorial, according to Robert C. DiIorio, associate director of the MIT News Office.