Posts made on social media speculating about a number of attacks occurring late at night on campus has led to a student-wide discussion, and panic, about safety near the Garthdee campus.
With deadlines and the exam period fast approaching the library has now started running 24/7. The nights are cold and dark and late-night library study sessions are a standard indication of the upcoming stress. Students are traveling to and from the library late at night or early in the morning when it is dark and there are not many people around.
One person tweeted about their experience while leaving RGU at night:
From the tweets it is suggested that the incident happened off campus and those involved retreated to campus viewing it as a safe space.
Although there has been a great deal of speculation on social media as a result of these tweets it has been made clear by the university that there have been no reports of incidents taking place on campus. They explain that RGU remains a safe space and that the Presidents and university staff are doing all they can to ensure student safety.
Yesterday, RGU addressed the circulating speculation with an email sent on behalf of Student Life. It stated:
“With the library currently operating 24 hours a day, we want to encourage all our students to be vigilant when traveling to and from the campus at night.
Security staff are on duty throughout the night and if you do see anyone acting suspiciously, please contact the police immediately.”
The Union Presidents later followed with an email reassuring students that the university is a safe place. The email explained that the Union is aware of one incident that was reported to the police off campus, and that there have not been any reports of any incidents on the campus.
The email reminded students that with the library being open 24/7 the free late-night bus would be in operation again as of next week and that the campus has security staff on duty throughout the night.
The Presidents also reminded students that the Safe Taxi Scheme (01224 262222) is available, which allows students to use their student card as payment (repaying the Union at a later date) if they found themselves in danger and in need of getting home safely. There is also the ‘Report and Support’ service where students can report any harassment or violence anonymously and receive support from the university.
The university and the Union are addressing the issue and are in talks with First Bus and the local council to try and improve travel and safety conditions surrounding campus, such as extra lighting being installed on Garthdee Road.
If there is anyone acting suspiciously around campus students are urged to contact the police immediately or go to the nearest Help Point as there is always staff available to help.
Students are asked to be vigilant and aware of their travel options if in need of attending the library at unsociable hours. It is recommended to try going with friends if possible.