LETTER : Students must take care of themselves

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The Independent Online
From Mr Erik Empson and


Sir: Stephen Pritchard ("Easy marks for criminal classes", 4 January) reports growing crime against students on and off the campus. As students, what we object to is the underlying assumption of the article.

The idea that students are weak and in need of mothering by the "local community", the police and the student union is wrong. University is meant to be about the severing of apron strings and establishing oneself as an independent-minded adult.

There is no substantiated evidence to suggest that students are at greater risk from crime. But there appears to be an established consensus that we are still children. Every hall of residence these days is constructed like a prison, perhaps to keep students in as much as the "locals" out.

We would much rather have advice on how to cope with a pitifully low grant or no books in the library than the sort of advice that recommends that we lock our front door.

Yours independently,

Erik Empson

A. C. Harrison

Kate Simmons

London, N16

5 January