By Shoni Schimmel, Courtnee Walton, Asia Taylor, Bria Smith, and Monny Niamke
U of L police responded to a rash of car break-ins at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium Wednesday afternoon. Don’t worry, it was us, and now we will tell you why.
We are are all enrolled in the course, campus media, and as a class we thought it would be an interesting idea to see how many people leave their car doors open in the parking lot. The whole reason why we choose to go down to Papa Johns stadium was because there is a lot of parking availability down there unlike everywhere else on campus.
We all know how it is when it comes to parking around campus; very little, if any. Better yet it costs you an arm and leg just to get a parking pass in any lot. Which tends to be frustrating and when it comes to parking anywhere on campus. Also let’s not start on the one-way service buses that take forever to get from point “A” to point “B”. You have to get to campus extra early just to get a parking space.
We had the opportunity to go to the Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium to do some public service; so we thought. The plan was to see if people actually locked their car doors or not, and whether they did or didn’t, we just left them a note.
We simply lifted the handles and closed them right back if they were open. We wanted to do this to help people. We even made some signs saying, “Please lock your car doors, just a little friendly reminder from the Cardinal Newspaper.” We placed this note on the front window of the car.
The whole point of doing this was to help give people a heads-up on locking their doors, and little did we know people actually left their doors open. Nearly one-third were unlocked, which is quite a few.
Three of us started off on row two, and two others started in row one. It wasn’t very long until we got stopped by a man in a yellow shirt; the campus security officer who sits in a little booth right when you enter the first part of the lot.
The two who started in row two were the ones actually stopped, meanwhile the other three continued, not knowing that the other two were stopped. It turned out that the campus security man had called the cops.
After the three of us finished in row two we went over to where our other teammates were with the yellow-shirted man. The security guy was rude to us about this whole situation. We even had people walking by saying, “I don’t know if I like you guys doing this, because you guys might steal something out of my car.” We note that we did not steal anything. We made it through 80 cars total and at least 25 of them were unlocked. That’s 31 percent.
It wasn’t much longer before the cops showed up. Three cop cars arrived to greet us all standing there. The gentlemen who got out of the cop cars were very nice and very much aware of what we were doing and saw it as a nice thing to do. But they explained to us that it was breaking the law and we shouldn’t have done it in the first place.
On top of all this we received an announcement from our teacher saying, “No law-breaking today.” He was busy receiving texts, calls and e-mails from university officials about our experiment that all boiled down to “Stop!”
We didn’t actually see this notification until after we talked to the cops and were excused.
Doing this was something we thought that would be beneficial to the people parking their cars at the stadium and we thought we were doing something good for the public.
But to be honest with you, you never know who could be walking around at the stadium. If we could go down to the parking lot and check doors for a class, imagine a stranger doing the same thing.
One campus security guy can’t watch all the cars in that lot. In the end of all this we were not trying to break the law–we just want people to lock their doors. So again, we just want to remind you all to simply lock your doors, and we apologize for any misdirection on all of this.