Posts Tagged ‘bikes’

How Safe Is Stanford??

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

A recent report by the University’s Department of Public Safety tells two stories, one of progress and another of lingering concerns.

On one hand, Stanford’s cops have made major gains in reducing crime across a swath of categories, including burglaries, liquor law arrests, and drug violations. On the other, 12 students suffered forcible sexual assaults last year, and bike theft remains a major problem on campus.

Bike theft remains a major problem on campus. Column 1 refers to year, column 2 to student residences, column 3 to on-campus, column 4 to non-campus, and column 6 to total thefts. According to the footnote, statistics on bike theft are being voluntarily tracked by Stanford University as of 2009.

Always an option if you are really running late to class.

In fairness, bike theft is extremely difficult to prevent, given the size of our campus and the number of places where such incidents could occur. However, these numbers are completely unacceptable. With all of the resources at this university’s disposal, no Stanford student should have to fear for their safety or for the theft of often-expensive property.

In addition, the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE) saw 72 students last year, 59 of whom were underage. The most common referral to OAPE is for intoxication. These incidents are disciplinary actions, and there was a slight uptick from 52 students in 2010 and 61 in 2009. Data on DUIs were not available in the report.

Another interesting tidbit in the report revealed the causes of fires in the past three years. These included a water heater fire, a trash fire, a box of T-shirts left on the stove (Storey), and burning books and paper (FloMo). I’m guessing the frequent popcorn-induced fire alarms were not included in the report; otherwise, they would require their own special section.

Finally, the report provided some useful information that I had never encountered before:

  • Apparently, there is a Freshman Emergency Ride Home Program that, according to the report, “provides taxi service back to campus for freshmen who are caught without a ride or are in an emergency situation (within eight miles of campus). Freshmen must pre-register at: http://transportation.stanford.edu/erh, using Yellow Cab of Palo Alto, account # 300-350. For more information, call (650) 321-1234 or (888) 512-1234.” Freshmen get up to four free rides…probably beats waiting for 5-Sure.
  • Those Cal fans can get a bit rowdy….

    The Department for Public Safety teaches a 1-unit Community Police Academy class in winter quarter (LAWGEN 209Q) that, among other things, includes pursuit practice in the driving simulators at The Police Academy in San Jose.

  • Public Safety offers free threat or vulnerability assessments of any building, lab, or facility on campus. The assessment entails a walk-through of the building by their personnel with the building or facility manager. For anyone worried about fire hazards, these are your people to call.

Criticisms aside, Public Safety has unquestionably been working hard. Last year, their Records Division took 185 police reports, assisted 9,281 people over the phone, and helped more than 3,354 walk-in customers. A renewed focus on bike theft and forcible sexual assault would go a long way to ensuring that this campus is as safe as it can be.

 

The dreaded Stanford bike police…..(and how to escape!)

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Black and white, a terrorizing sight on campus!

They’re sly, they’re sneaky, and they give out tickets like nobody’s business! That’s right, I’m talking about the Stanford bike police. They’ve been out in force and recently I had the great honor of “chatting” with an officer as I was riding my bike at night without a light. As most Stanford upperclassmen know from experience and most freshmen and sophomores are learning the hard way, bike tickets seriously cramp everyone’s style! Expensive, time-consuming (if you choose to go to “ticket school”), and all around crappy. Now, if you follow the law (use a light at night, come to a full-stop at a stop-signs, don’t ride where you’re not supposed to, etc.), you should be fine and don’t need to read this. However, if you’re an anarchist bent on disobeying authority, this is definitely for you. Also, if you’re a regular Stanford student that makes a few mistakes now and then, you should probably keep reading.

DISCLAIMER: I do not endorse breaking the law, nor dishonesty. Use these tips at your own risk. If you get caught doing some of these your punishment will be far greater than if you hadn’t tried to be a bad-ass. Telling the officer that “Jesse said I could do it” will most definitely not work. Duh. The following tips are based on the experiences of myself and other undergrad Stanford students:

1.) Don’t be a dick

You have to realize that from the second a cop pulls you over, he has complete control. Even if you are completely innocent, I promise being rude will get you absolutely nowhere. In fact, just being rude may be warrant enough for the cop to give you some type of ticket. Sure, you may be able to get out of it down the road, but that doesn’t mean it won’t take a ton of your time and energy in letters and court appearances. Pulled-over? Suck it up, smile, and be polite.

2.) Be honest

Cops are not idiots. I promise. They give literally thousands of tickets a year, so your half-brained, split-second excuse is most likely not going to work. Depending on how crappy it sounds, it could end up with you getting a heavier fine/more unpleasant interaction. If you get pulled over it’s likely the first thing the officer will ask you is why you think he pulled you over. You have two options: tell him the truth (if you know), or tell him you’re not sure. Again with the whole idiots thing: if it’s super obvious (ex: blew a stop-sign where everyone else was stopped) and you say you’re not sure, that’s a pretty sure bet for a ticket. Oftentimes honesty can get you a long way with the police here, especially if you’re apologetic and polite. However, enforcement will rarely have mercy for bikers who don’t pay attention when they’re riding, and honestly they probably shouldn’t. In cases like these I recommend telling the truth, but putting your own spin on as to why you broke the law. Which leads me to point 3…. (more…)

Signs That Stanford Students Have a Sense of Humor

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Santa Teresa Avenue:

Tresidder Gym:

The Counter-Culture Bike Parking Job

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

This guy thought everyone else was parked the wrong way.