On Monday, the University set loose a new set of security monitors on campus: bike monitors. The specially trained team will be able to issue citations and warnings. They hope to deter as many bike thefts on campus as possible through educating people about how to protect themselves and their bikes.
Bike theft is a common crime on campus that affects many students. A lot of students use their bikes to get to and around campus. Many bikes get stolen through the University community’s general ignorance of the proper ways to protect against bike theft. Though bike theft seems uncommon to those who haven’t experienced it, the actual event of one’s bike being stolen can create large and unexpected transportation problems. Bike theft affects more students on campus than any other crime and should be taken seriously by the community.
The new bike monitors will help create a campus full of people more aware of how to avoid bike theft, a very large problem for many students. Students in the past have felt the University Police Department didn’t take bike thefts seriously enough. Bikes are stolen all the time around campus, yet they are hardly ever returned to their owners.
The new forces will begin issuing only warnings on bikes that are improperly locked up around campus and will issue $33 tickets later this year for improper riding. Bike monitors, warnings and tickets are all ways the University Police Department is working to help curb the problem of bike theft on campus.
The Minnesota Student Association has also been working to create a Web site that will offer students a place to register their bikes by serial number. This will improve the chances of returning stolen bikes to their rightful owners.
All of these are improvements by the University to help create a safer community. Bike theft can be minimized through education and awareness through both the bike monitors and the new registration system. Students should embrace both as ways the University is working for their safety.