PLU has many programs that are working to change students perception of Parkland, including the Center for Community Engagement and Service. The programs reach out to the community and show students everything positive that is going on.
These programs get students involved with the community, and encourage students to leave the Lute Dome.
Many students have had similar experiences as me though, and they apply their experience to the entire community.
When nearly every person I talk to has been affected by crime in Parkland, it makes me think that it’s not just a coincidence that I began having a negative experience within a few weeks of living here.
It is as shame that the crime in Parkland is overpowering everything positive that happens in Parkland, but that is reality. Negative things are what tend to stick with people.
I still believe it is PLU”s responsibility to inform its students about the crime. I feel Parkland crime is greatly misrepresented to students and Parents.
My parents were told not to worry, that there is a sheriff that is hired to patrol campus. That is true, but despite the great presence of police, it is still very easy for people to commit crimes, and to get away with it.
I recommend not only to lock your valuable possessions, but also to keep them out of sight and out of your car. Locking doesn’t prevent theft, but actually forces you to fix any damages.
I have been told time and time again by Pacific Lutheran University that Parkland is a great community. PLU says there is a lot to explore and that Parkland is very welcoming.
My experience tells me the opposite. Within the short time I have lived here, I have lost over $1,000 because of the crime-riddled community I live in.
Within the first five weeks of class, PLU had already had more bikes stolen than the entire previous year, and mine was one of them.
I thought locking the bike that I had built from the ground up would protect it from Parkland thieves I was wrong. They cut my lock and took my bike, forcing me to either walk or drive wherever I needed.
I no longer have fast transportation that doesn’t rely on gas, or more importantly, my empty wallet.
After this incident, I figured I was just unlucky and dismissed it. It was bound to happen sometime and I hadn’t had anything stolen from me before.
A couple weeks ago, someone broke the back window of my car and stole my cheap sub-woofer and my broken iPod. The repairs for the window cost more than the stuff they took.
The part I don’t understand is that if they knew what they were doing, why did they leave my amplifier, my stereo, my aftermarket speakers, and my GPS? All of these things were in sight, unlike my sub-woofer and iPod.
Not only is Parkland not safe, but the people committing these acts are idiots.
But theft isn’t the only problem in Parkland.
A friend of mine was walking home to his dorm alone one night and he was jumped – unprovoked – by five teens. The teens beat him for several minutes. He couldn’t see clearly for the next several weeks.
Sure, these are just three specific instances that don’t happen to everybody, but Parkland has more crime than other parts of Tacoma.
Residential vandalism has increased 400 percent over the last year. Crime in general has increased 29 percent, according to Pierce County Crime Data.
Spanaway has only seen a 9 percent increase in crime.
Tacoma has seen a 5 percent increase in property damage over the last year, but an 8 percent decrease in crime.
These stats for theft may actually be lower than they should be.
According to the Department of Justice, 67 percent of household thefts go unreported to police.
In my 19 years of existence, I have never felt as unsafe as I do now. My property has been stolen and broken, causing damages I can’t afford to pay. My friend was beaten by a gang of teens, unprovoked.
PLU lies when it tells students that the Parkland community is welcoming. The only thing welcoming about Parkland is PLU. Getting my degree is the only reason I am willing to endure Parkland.