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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

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Bobcat Bobbies are not as helpful as they say

Illustration by Cameron Hubbard.

Illustration by Cameron Hubbard.

While the Bobcat Bobbies service seems to guarantee student safety, it often ends up missing the mark.
Bobcat Bobbies is a service Texas State offers students to ensure that we remain safe while traveling from one location to another on campus. This service becomes available at dusk, and after 1 a.m. UPD Security Service police officers administer escorts to fit students’ needs. This resource is made known to incoming freshmen during their orientation as a way to protect themselves while on campus. However, students do not always have the experience they are hoping for when requesting a Bobcat Bobbie.
The call is quick, to the point and polite. You tell the person on the line where you are, where you need to be and they tell you that a Bobcat Bobbie will be sent your way. But, there have been multiple occurrences in which the Bobcat Bobbie does not show or takes much more time than a student expects, leaving students alone for longer than necessary.
Students navigate around campus at night for food runs, to visit friends, for events or for schoolwork purposes, but when Bobcat Bobbies cannot be counted on, students are faced with the decision to walk by themselves at night instead.
The lack of lighting around campus is also a major issue and contributes to putting students at high risks of danger. Most sources of light during the night are found in more popular sites around campus, but eerie walkways and less popular areas are left lightless. This increases the possibility of something unwanted to occur.
This is a dangerous situation for students especially when Bobcat Bobbies is a service that is heavily relied on when students might feel the most vulnerable. The Bobcat Bobbies are also not in service while it is raining. This is understandable being that it is dangerous to drive in hazardous weather, but Texas State should find a way to make up for this and prioritize the wellbeing of its students.
There is also no way to know if the Bobcat Bobbie has arrived. It seems that the simple way to know is to wait, but many buildings—including dorms—have several entrances. During inclement weather, students might stay inside the building for shelter. However, this becomes an issue because the Bobcat Bobbie expects a student to be at a particular entrance, but when the student is not seen or is at the wrong entrance, the driver leaves. It would be helpful to contact students through text, call or an app that keeps students updated on the Bobcat Bobbies’ location and arrival.
In the 2018 fall semester, a stabbing transpired at Sights & Sounds, a local Christmas holiday event held in downtown San Marcos. The suspects were later found after fleeing the scene. With campus being so close to downtown San Marcos—where most city events are held—it is possible for people who commit crimes at these events to use the campus as an escape route or hiding place, creating an even greater need for a safer system for students.
Texas State requires that freshmen—except for a few exceptions—stay in dorms during their first year. However, studies show that a new student’s first two semesters are when the most sexual assaults occur. It is detrimental that possible “what if” situations are not overlooked, and Texas State should better facilitate its students in order to combat this.
The shoddy reliability of the Bobcat Bobbies should concern the students of Texas State. There have been incidents both on and off campus, such as the Texas State student who went missing and whose body was later recovered in Blanco River, the recent murder of a Texas State freshman and the cases of sex trafficking that San Marcos is no stranger to. These incidents are alarming for not only San Marcos residents, but also for students of Texas State, as well.
It is important that Bobcat Bobbies review their current policies and look for potential improvements to be made in order to keep students safe and to remain a dependable source for students who need nighttime travel.
Carissa Liz Castillo is an English senior and Kindlynn Ortega is a psychology freshman

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