The International Campus Utrecht, where UCU is based, is part of the broader community in which it is situated. In this respect it is not closed or separate from Utrecht, but is an integral part of the city, and can experience the same kinds of security risks as anywhere else.
However, with the right precautions and attitude there is no reason to feel unsafe. UCU also benefits from the added presence of the University Security Team, who regularly patrol the campus and are reachable 24 hours a day.
Despite being low in number, thefts from student bedrooms are still a present risk. As happens every year, a small number of personal items such as wallets and laptops are stolen from rooms on the ground floor. Thefts might occur more often during good weather, when there are more open windows and doors on the ground floors, but even in less good weather we must still remain vigilant.
Security on our campus is a shared responsibility, where you play an active part.
What the institution can do:
- UCU provides keys and fully lockable doors/windows to all units and bedrooms, and can arrange timely repairs to any unsecure doors/windows.
- UU operates a campus security patrol who can be called to respond to any student’s safety concerns.
What residents can do:
- Residents should make use of these provisions sensibly – always lock up.
- Further measures can include keeping valuable belongings out of sight when unattended.
It’s completely understandable to want to leave doors/windows open for long periods, but not advisable, especially if the room is left unattended. We do live on a campus but this is not separated from normal city life, and as such the movement of people on/off campus is not ‘controlled’. This fact might make it tricky for the UU Security Team to apprehend somebody who is simply walking around. In this respect UCU does not and cannot guarantee total insulation from outside visitors – a situation where the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Leaving doors and windows open without being present is certainly not a wise decision (this includes leaving your door/window on the small metal ‘latch’ hook, which can be easily lifted/opened from the outside). As all reported thefts have occurred without any signs of forced entry, and can be considered as opportunist ‘walk-in’ thefts. Let’s remove that opportunity for thieves.
Please use the devices present in your room to deter theft:
- Downstairs rooms in the Wall have a metal door lock clamp, which should only be used when present in your unit.
- Rooms in blocks W, X and Y have a window behind an open brick system. Just remember to push in the lock of the clamp of the other window and then remove the key. If no key is present, then pick one up from the landlord.
- Always use both window claws in buildings G and K, and lock them when not present. You have a ventilation system using the ‘open grills’ (roosters).
- On the Kromhoutweg it is perhaps more difficult, but leaving doors wide open without anybody being present is never smart, as an intruder can then wander through the whole unit.
- Finally, if you see anything suspicious then immediately call security using phone number 030-253-1300. This is also the number one uses to reach security for all other reasons besides needing an ambulance, fire department or the real police (that is number 030-253-4444).
If you call the UU Security Team to report suspicious behavior, a car with one or two security guards will search the campus as soon as possible, based on the information given, and contact will be made with the person who called in the situation.
The issue of safety seems to comprise: (1) a set of practical measures which can be taken to minimise risk of theft, (2) a feeling/attitude towards one’s own personal security. These are connected, and it’s important to ‘index’ them correctly to each other (in other words, to adopt a mindset of personal security based on actual – rather than perceived – risk factors). It would be a pity to see our community become characterised by over-suspicious or fearful vigilantes, in reaction to a low number of reported thefts. Hopefully the above steps can help you regulate your own personal reactions to the matter of campus security and personal safety.