One Question: Is Millikin Safe?


Athena Pajer

A Safety Phone stands next to the sidewalk on the way to the Freshman lot near Dolson Hall – Where many students walk daily to reach their cars.

Jason Messina

You’re walking down the street. It’s 11:00 PM. The streetlights are on but they are too far and too few in-between. You may be thinking: Am I safe?

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, these thoughts will still enter your head at one point or another. Many heard upon returning to Millikin of the incident close to our campus: the death of a young man named Cody L. Drew. Drew was stabbed outside the Winery, a popular bar. Considering how close the location is to the Milli-bubble, many started once again to wonder if they are really safe.

All it takes is one unfortunate incident to make you realize that maybe at your last party you heard gunshots, make you realize how dark it gets at night or even start thinking about long walks you may have to take to get to your buildings.  

There is a simple answer to this question though. “Decatur does seem to be a little scary sometimes,” David Biggs, a junior here at Millikin said, “But so does Chicago. What city doesn’t?”

Biggs continued by stating that even though he may not always feel safe around Decatur, he does always feel safe at Millikin. “I don’t expect bad things to happen on Millikin’s campus and I don’t think they ever will,” Biggs said.

Biggs isn’t the only one who feels this way. “Being a girl, I do tend to feel a little unsafe at nights sometimes but that doesn’t include Millikin,” Kaytlin Jacoby, a senior commuter her at Millikin, said. “Millikin does a really good job at making us feel protected.”

Millikin does try its best to keep its students and faculty in a healthy environment. It’s been something that Public Safety has been keeping up and trying to accomplish for a long time here at Millikin.

Public Safety and Millikin provide so many different resources for students here on campus all in the attempt make sure they feel safe. From safe walks, safe rides, above adequate night lighting, and, of course, the blue light safety phones located around the campus. Millikin succeeds.

Along with all of what is provided above, Public Safety is always trying to help students act safe and be safe wherever they are whether they are on Millikin’s campus or just around Decatur. “It’s a city of  eighty-some thousand people. It has all the issues that come with that,” Christopher Ballard, the Director of Public Safety said, “You have crime in any city so you have to pay attention to what’s going on around you.”

Ballard and the rest of public safety make sure students know to contact them whenever they aren’t feeling safe on campus but just as importantly how to deal with situations that do not always happen on campus. “The most important rule is that if you aren’t feeling safe, just get out of there.” Ballard said.

It seems like an easy rule but is of utmost importance. Another important thing to keep in mind is that if something happens and you’re not on campus, call the police, and let them know whats going on. “The police are really not able to do a whole lot unless the community helps,” Ballard said, “We rely on community involvement, if we don’t have that then we can’t do our jobs effectively.”

It’s such a simple idea but it’s still something that doesn’t happen very often.

Ballard and the rest of public safety are always ready to help any way they can. They’ve been able to keep Millikin a safe place for a long time, and that is sure to continue.    

Ballard and everyone knows that there is a clear difference between Millikin and Decatur, but that shouldn’t stop you from going out and enjoying everything this town has to offer. Bad things happen everywhere, but as long as you are smart and pay attention, you can be just as safe anywhere as you are on Millikin.