Cura personalis – care for the whole person. This is a Jesuit ideal that Georgetown goes to great lengths to achieve on an intellectual and social level. We students have over 100 student groups to choose from. Every one of these groups aims to pursue cura personalis on this campus by bringing out the individual in each student and celebrating this community in diverse ways.

As an institution of higher learning, Georgetown has generally succeeded in caring for the whole person. With a dean base and provost highly determined to constantly implement new certificates, majors and minors, Georgetown far surpasses many other universities that allow the status quo to become the curriculum. I’ve heard murmurings about an education certificate program to go along with the newly instituted African American studies program, while today we have a performing arts program that serves theater and music among other concentrations, as well as a new history requirement that allows regional history courses to be taken in order to meet a requirement.

But when it comes to the care of a person’s physical self, I am appalled. Since I’ve come to Georgetown, I’ve been promised enhanced security as a part of the broader Jesuit ideal of cura personalis. With respect to safety on campus and the effectiveness of the Department of Public Safety, the “care for the whole person” mission has failed.

I’ve been told countless grim stories of cold and eerie nights leaving the library and nerve-wracking walks through Burleith. On nights such as these, one wants to feel like his or her physical person is cared for. Disappointingly, these stories too often end with descriptions of “sketchy,” ill-motivated officers who ride around in circles on their bicycles while the darkness and fear continue to plague students. I’ve heard dozens of students recount stories of SafeRides shuttles driving past them in order to respond to another call.

I’m sorry. Did I misunderstand? I thought the point of SafeRides was to provide safe transport for students. I didn’t understand it to be a cab service – or even a service that must run on a strict loop, leaving students to walk several blocks or even wait on the very streets they are determined to avoid.

I applaud the university’s efforts thus far, but it’s time for serious expansion. My friends don’t want to study late in Lauinger because they can’t guarantee their safe arrival home at 12 a.m., 10 p.m. or even 5 p.m. That’s not cura personalis.

Enacting change would mean sacrifice. A million dollars might not be able to go to campus landscaping this year. Maybe we’ll have to cut back on the number of GUTS buses. Maybe we’ll have three less speakers of prominence on campus this semester. But maybe a girl won’t have to worry about being pursued by a stranger; a guy won’t have to worry about being mugged after a party. Maybe we can feel like our whole person is being cared for.

I know this may rub some the wrong way, but I aim to let the administration know that the student body is serious about safety. And as more and more students are pushed further from the comfort of Healy Gates because of an alcohol policy that preserves the university’s prestige while displacing its population every weekend, I would still rather have three fights on campus than one rape in Burleith. I’d rather have three roofs cave in than have one student mugged because they studied too late.

So please, can we focus on a real issue of imminent salience? Now? Not because I’m mad, but because I think we can be better. All this Georgetown senior is asking for is just a “maybe.” I sincerely hope something changes, and soon. Because if it isn’t time for drastic measures now, then I fear the time will come much too late.

Kyle Williams is a senior in the College and a GUSA deputy chief of staff.

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