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A bird’s-eye view on preventing crime at ISU
(Archive Photo)

(Archive Photo) Theft is the number one problem on ISU’s campus, with 135 reported cases in 2013.

The theft of student’s belongings is a real problem on the Illinois State University campus with 135 thefts reported in 2013.

“Our number one reported crime on campus is theft,” Aaron Woodruff , ISU Police Chief, said.

This does not account for the crimes that students do not report to the campus police department.

Most selected items for theft are high-priced electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops and tablets.

Books are also stolen, given they are easily resold at the university bookstores. At ISU, items are stolen in different locations throughout campus.

Popular locations for theft include campus dining halls, study areas in Milner Library, the Student Fitness Center and university housing, Woodruff said.

According to Security Magazine, laptops and cell phones are number four and five on the list of top 10 items stolen throughout the U.S., respectively.

Bikes are rated number one on the list, but the problem at ISU is not as severe with bike theft.

A periodic occurrence of bike theft ensues, but with ISU being such a compact campus bike theft is not as frequent as electronic theft, Woodruff said.

Students can register their bike with the National Bike Registry on their website. It will then be entered into a national database, making it easier to locate.

Many avenues exist for students to prevent their items from being stolen and recover those items immediately if they act quickly.

As soon as a theft occurs, it is important to call campus police and report the theft. If something is reported, it is immediately more likely to be recovered.

Writing down serial numbers and other identification numbers for all electronic devices is a good idea and makes recovery easier.

As a result, ISU Police can place these numbers into a database where they can track and see if the items show up for sale in any local stores.

“The sooner you report it, the more likely we’ll be able to recover it,” Woodruff said.

With no cameras at some locations on campus and the large number of students, items can be tricky to recover.

“The main advice I have for students is you keep what you lock,” Woodruff said.

There are many precautions students can take to help to protect their electronics. Numerous apps are offered, such as Lookout Security and Norton, which help track them on your phone.

Bloomington Normal seeks peace prize nominations

The Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies Program at Illinois State University is now accepting nominations and self-nominations for the Grabill-Homan Community Peace Prize.

“The peace prize recognizes individual achievements in peacemaking, leadership, community service and activism in the Bloomington Normal community,” Dawn Beichner, associate professor and co-director of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies program, said.

In spring 2015, the winner will receive a plaque and a $250 donation in their name to a program or scholarship at ISU chosen by the prize recipient.

Beichner said they have been awarding a peace prize since 2001. The Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies program has been in operation since the 1980s. The program was started by Dr. Joseph Grabill and Dr. Gerloff Homan, whom the prize is named after. Both are emeritus professors of history at ISU.

With 21 hours of credit, students can receive a minor in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies. The classes in the program let students examine the causes and prevention of war, the nature of violence, social oppression, discrimination, marginalization and the peace-making strategies to transform society.

In order to be eligible for the prize, the nominee must reside in Bloomington or Normal and be at least 21 years old, in addition to a record of peacemaking activities in the community.

Beichner said the number of applicants varies each year. “Nominees are mostly activists from our community,” she said.

Last year’s recipient was Tina Sipula. Beichner said that in 1978, Sipula opened Clare House, a Catholic worker home that offered

shelter to homeless women and families.

“For the past 20 years, Clare House has operated as a food pantry that distributes 150 bags of food to needy families each week,” Beichner said.

In 2013, the prize was awarded to Rick Heiser.

“Over the years Rick has been involved in a variety of peacemaking activities in the community,” Beichner said.

Among many things, he was an active member of the Bloomington-Normal Interfaith Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and he worked with others in the community to oppose intervention in Central America in order to promote a healthy environment.

When making a nomination or self-nomination, nominees should include a resume centered on the individual’s peacemaking activities. In addition, nominees should include two letters of support from “individuals who can speak to the impact of the nominee’s activities and initiatives on the community” and a 300 to 500-word description of a community need that requires public attention.

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Communication Spotlight
School of Communication celebrates retiring Executive Director Larry Long article thumbnailSchool of Communication celebrates retiring Executive Director Larry Long. Larry Long, who is retiring in December, is a one of a kind leader at Illinois State University. As executive director of the School of Communication (SoC), Long is a welcoming, full-hearted man with overwhelming creativity.  [Read the rest]

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