I asked some of my library connections about the little incident from last week. They told me that the perpetrator had been taking care of business throughout the lower level of the building, leaving behind numerous DNA samples. Security brought in local detectives, who collected the evidence (and, I fervently hope, cleaned and sterilized the area afterwards). They were in plain clothes and all. I saw them. I presume a file has been opened and will remain so in perpetuity because these aren't exactly priority cases for most law enforcement officials.
Nonetheless, I'm still bothered. No description was posted. No advice offered, other than the "personal safety practices and knowlege" advisory. The notice that I received had only gone out to staff, faculty, and administrators, not students. So, the people most at risk of being victims of this sort of behavior, the students, don't even have the knowlege of such an event. The library staff who were not on duty don't have a description to post. The lower level remains un-staffed.
Again, I don't expect this to be a high priority for the local police department; but I do expect the campus security to be a bit more concerned. I also expect the college to inform students. More importantly, I expect some suggestions or procedures for preventing or reporting such behavior to be posted along with that information.
Shouldn't campus security be empowering the students a little? Perhaps they are so used to their routine of opening offices and classrooms, keeping students from misbehaving, and the myriad other mundane tasks that take up their day that, when the time for actual security work appears, they slip into a caretaker role rather than one that could help the students take care of themselves. Why not, for instance a Hollaback site for this college or this area?
We are, fortunately, a small campus, easily patrolled but also publically accessible. There should be some way to, if not mobilize, get some ideas out to this student population. I'll have to think on it.
See also: Historiann, Breaking the Code, I Blame the Patriarchy, and more as I find them.