Measures for improving Public Safety

TechNews Writer
Mon Feb 13, 2023

To all my fellow students, what was the first thing you were made wary of when you decided to pursue your postgraduate education here? Well, if your parents are anything like mine, I’m sure you were warned about the high crime rate in South Chicago, especially around our university. Of course, having spent a semester here, we all know that their fears were well-rooted in reality. To combat the risks, the Illinois Institute of Technology has a wonderful service called Public Safety, that works hard round the clock to ensure our safety on and around the campus. Like many others, I have utilized this service countless times, to commute from my late-evening classes to my residence, and I can say with surety that the service is competent enough to calm my parents’ constantly worrying minds. However, as Maxwell Lord claimed in Wonder Woman 1984, “Life is good, but it can be better!”

Just like every service offered at Illinois Tech, even Public Safety has the potential to improve. In this article, I have leveraged my experiences to highlight a couple of solutions that I believe can enhance Public Safety for future students.

Currently, I believe Public Safety’s biggest shortcoming is the inability to track the cars in real-time, which in turn doesn’t allow the calculation of the potential Expected Time of Arrival (ETA) till your current location. Often, this has caused great inconvenience to me at night. I can recall that I left the library at night on Monday, January 30, however, even after waiting for close to 20 minutes, there was no sight of any car. Exasperated, I was left with little choice, and I proceeded to head home alone. Imagine my frustration when I saw the car heading towards the library while I was crossing MTCC.

In my opinion, this problem presents a simple solution. If anyone has used the Ventra or Divvy app, they will know that the most useful feature of the app is the ability to accurately predict ETA for the earliest bus or train. Similarly, since Illinois Tech is primarily a technologically-focused institute, boasting plenty of Computer Science undergraduate and graduate students, I propose the creation of an app, that utilized IoT and provides real-time tracking of all cars. This would allow every student to not only check the location of the nearest car but also realize the ETA for the closest vehicle.

Additionally, I believe the presence of these cars ought to be increased on campus, to cover most (if not all) of the buildings. Personally, I have classes on Thursdays till 9:30 p.m. at Stuart Building, and I am forced to either take Public Safety from the library or risk venturing home alone. Due to the never-ending deadlines, my decision always moves towards the latter. Regardless of the extra time taken by the car to drop off other passengers, I would feel the utmost comfortable if I am presented with the option to take a car from Stuart Building itself.

I conclude by reiterating that Public Safety is a god-send feature of Illinois Tech, and if the aforementioned suggestions are considered, each student would feel more comfortable while attending late-night classes, especially during winter.




Appears in
2023 - Spring - Issue 4