How safe really is St. Andrews?
Can you really afford to walk home alone?
When I was in my final year of school, I remember touring universities, and being mercilessly embarrassed when my mum would turn round to the poor student volunteer kindly showing us all round dingy student accommodation blocks, and demand to know how safe the university we were looking around really was. Naturally, they all said 'Oh, very as far as I know', but this was never quite enough to satisfy her, save for in St. Andrews. For once, she truly believed them.
The fact that this tiny Scottish town appears to be a safe haven for relatively affluent students, many of whom are from overseas, to feel safe and protected in what is to become their home away from home, leads many of us to often become completely and utterly complacent when it comes to safety.
It's not uncommon for me to walk home from the library, to my house just beyond Kinnesburn alone at night, through dark shortcuts and down unlit streets, which according to many of my friends at uni in larger cities such as Leeds or Manchester, is just something you would not do. Although this is true, my walk home is a little further than a fair number of the students here, who's homes are confined to the main three streets. The fact remains however, that although everyone lives in such close proximity to everything, does not necessarily mean that things are any safer.
Take this as an example, on Friday night, three male students were walking home past Empire, where they were followed home to University Hall where one of them lived, and were assaulted, right outside the entrance to the halls of residence.
This attack was entirely unprovoked, seemingly, the boys had done nothing to warrant a fight, and yet this still happened. And it could happen to anyone, for that matter.
In a town as small as this, we often take our safety for granted. The fact that St. Andrews was rated the fifteenth safest University in the country by the Student Experience Survey 2015, does say something, but it does not mean that we can take our own safety for granted.
The main thing to take away here, is that we can be too complacent. It's high time were were more safety conscious in St. Andrews.